Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20010321.htm
LEVITICUS: GOD'S CALL FOR A SEPARATED WITNESS
Part II: The Path Of Walking In Fellowship With God (Leviticus 11-27)
O. Revealing Our Need To Rely Upon God Over Commercial Enterprise
(Leviticus 25:1-7, 8-55)
Lesson: God's people were to recognize that their ULTIMATE livelihood security rested with God Who GAVE them their Promised LAND as well as its CROPS for food. They would show that recognition by resting from commercial pursuits with the land on its land Sabbaths by FAITH, and being merciful in their financial dealings with one another as exemplified in the Year of Jubilee.
- From a human standpoint, we need to make money in commercial pursuits if we would live!
- However, GOD has a different view of the Source of our livelihood, a view that is taught in the Levitical commands regarding the Sabbatical land and Year of Jubilee land rests, Leviticus 25. That view is significant for one to adopt in sustaining a fulfilling walk with God in this earthly life (as follows):
- Revealing Our Need To Rely Upon God Over Commercial Enterprise, Leviticus 25:1-7, 8-55.
- When Israel entered the Land God promised to give them, they were to observe its land Sabbaths, 25:1f..
- This Sabbath comprised an entire YEAR when the people were neither to sow the field nor prune the vineyard, Leviticus 25:3-4. Rather, they were to live off of GOD'S provision only, Leviticus 25:5-7.
- Also, after the 70th set of 7 years, there were to be two sabbatical years -- the first for the 70th 7-year land rest, plus another year for the 50th year of sabbatical Jubilee that followed, Lev. 25:8-9, 11. Thus, the people were to cease farming for two consecutive years, trusting God to supply all they needed!
- Upon hearing of this doubled annual land rest, God knew the people might say, "Well, if we don't sow or prune and reap what we have to do to make a commercial living that seventh year, and then again abstain from doing it again for the eighth year, the Year of Jubilee, we won't live beyond that ninth year, for we'll be so far behind on having enough grain for sowing by then that we'll never financially recover!" (Lev. 25:20) Accordingly, God promised that in the sixth year of that forty-ninth sabbatical land rest series of years, He would command the land to produce enough for the next three years: that would supply what the people needed for year 7 of the 49th regular land Sabbaths along with what they needed during the 8th year, the Year of Jubilee (since no one was to sow for that Jubilee year also) plus for year 9, the year following the 50th Year of Jubilee to cover what was needed both for food in that 9th year as well as what was needed for sowing that year so they could have something to harvest for their food and the following year's sowing at the end of that year, Leviticus 25:21-22! In other words, all they needed to return to their regular commercial enterprise would be supplied in the 6th year so they could rest these two consecutive years dealing with the timetable necessities of the Year of Jubilee!
- Also, God ordered the people to let the land return to their tribal orders during that Year of Jubilee, 25:10, 13. This balanced out the drift toward extreme wealth and poverty that free enterprise produces with commercial enterprise, and caused the people to recall that all gain comes by God's oversight & supply.
- God forbade people taking unfair advantage of one another during regular years when they bought and sold land due to the proximity of the land's sale to the Year of Jubilee: such land sales and purchases had to take into account how near the year of jubilee was to avoid price-gouging, Leviticus 25:13-17.
- In view of the fact that fifty years was a long time between consecutive Years of Jubilee, and a man could lose his land right after a jubilee year and never live to get it back, God permitted a kinsman-redeemer to purchase it for him, Lev. 25:28-34. This was applied in the book of Ruth by kinsman-redeemer, Boaz!
- Those who sold themselves into slavery to their fellow Hebrew countrymen to pay off debts were also to be released with no obligations every Year of Jubilee, Lev. 25:39-46. These with other laws relaxing financial burdens on people were applied in the Year of Jubilee, Lev. 25:32-34, 35-38, 47-55.
Application: (1) We must realize that commercial gain by our efforts is NOT our ultimate SOURCE of livelihood security: our SECURITY is GOD who gives us the opportunity to make gain, plus allows for the gain itself. (2) Accordingly, we are humbly to thank God for what gain we have, and be merciful toward those around us who are in material need due to the inequities commerce inevitably produces!