Through the Word in 2020 / Feb/ 25 – The Lost Jubilee

We are reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. You can download it free of charge from:

Today’s 4 readings are: Matthew 21:12-22; Acts 28:17-31; Psalm 47, Leviticus 26-27.

Outside of one reference in Numbers 34, Leviticus 25-27 contain the only mention of Israel’s “Jubilee.” It was a marvelous institution given by God and had massive economic and social ramifications for the nation. It was in effect a giant resort button, where along with other things, all debts hit their termination point whether fully repaid or not; property values were all reset to their highest rate; slaves were set free; and tribal properties all reverted back to their original clans if they had been sold to others during the previous years. This was to occur every 50 years in Israel and served as a sort of crowning “sabbath” to all the other sabbaths – the weekly, the yearly appointed and the every-seventh-year of giving the land rest from being cultivated.

Since the appointing of sabbaths was a unique mark given by God to distinguish Israel from all the other nations on earth, our 2 chapters today outline how seriously God took them. And what He said in regard to ignoring them. His discipline could be withering in the face of repeated disobedience. That discipline would culminate in Israel being invaded and exiled if they would not repent. And though God is so patient that He waited hundreds of years before He took that final step – the warning was sounded clearly and precisely in this passage. Looking at the various ways He would discipline them and ratchet up the discipline in the face of their refusal to repent is frightening. And it is meant to be so. And the sad account of history is, there is no evidence Israel even once followed God’s command here to celebrate the Jubilee. And yet how patient He was – is – and testifies that even then, He will never utterly cast off His people (26:44-45)

But when the record of Israel and God’s dealings with her are amplified to include it as being a type and shadow for the Christian life, passages like this chapter spring to life for the NC Believer.

What is striking to me in verse 13 is the powerful reminder that God has not saved us to leave us slaves to our sins – but He has broken these bars that we might walk erect – uprightly.

He saves us unto freedom – not to remain yoked to our sins. How we need this mindset and how we need to look at every sin as a fetter which keeps us bound and prevents us from walking in the joy and freedom we are meant to have.

Fight Christian. Those whom the Son sets free are free indeed. Seek out, fight for and live in that freedom. The flesh, the world and the Enemy conspire to lie to us so that we see this in precisely the opposite way – that sin is freedom. It isn’t. It is THE lie. Freedom from God is the most blind, excruciating bondage. Freedom from sin – is freedom to enjoy God.

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