Saturday, May 31, 2014

Feast of the LORD #4 - Pentecost - Counting 50 to the Year of Jubilee - Part 1
The counting of the omer, or the count-up to Pentecost, is not the only thing that is counted in 50s in the Bible. You may have heard of the Year of Jubilee, which was celebrated every 50 years in Israel.

When the Israelites came in to the Promised Land, God told them through Moses that they were to work the ground as farmers and take crops for six years, and the seventh year the land was to observe a Sabbath rest. (See Leviticus 25:1-7.)

Furthermore, the Israelites were then to count off seven Sabbath years, or seven groups of seven years which equals forty-nine years, and the next year, the fiftieth, was proclaimed to be the Year of Jubilee.

What happened in the Year of Jubilee? (Tweet that!) In the instructions God gave through Moses in Leviticus 25:8-55:

  • All property that was bought or sold during the past 49 years returned to the original owner. The price had been set according to how many years before this occurred. 
  • Anyone who had become poor and became a hired worked (not a slave – Israelites could not take Israelites as slaves), was to be released to return home to his own clan in the Year of Jubliee.

Debts were forgiven and slaves were set free in the Year of Jubilee. (Tweet that!

When land was sold, a person had a right to re-purchase or "redeem" that land. If he was too poor to do so, a relative, or "kinsman," of his could buy it for him to keep it in the family. This is where the "right of redemption" (of land) and the idea of the "kinsman redeemer" come from. We see the "kinsman redeemer" displayed in the book of Ruth as Boaz does this for Naomi and her son's widow, Ruth. (Tweet that!

You might wonder why God instructed all of this. It is because the land of Israel belongs to Him and is never to be sold permanently.

The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me (Leviticus 25:23).

Furthermore, the people of Israel were freed from slavery in Egypt and were never to be slaves again. They are free forever.

Why did God give these regulations? So that the Promised Land of Israel would never leave Israeli possession and so the people would be forever free. (Tweet that!

This is a picture of heaven: it is owned by God, it will always be there, and the people who reside in heaven will be free of sin and slavery forever. (Tweet that!)  Isn't that a beautiful picture?

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