Dr. Craig M. Jenkins, Pastor
Remembering With Joy
Lesson 12 May 20, 2018
Land @ Rest The opposite of bringing to God the first fruits of the harvest (last week’s lesson) is letting the ground lay fallow (this week’s lesson). Ground and people need time off. God and Moses were good farmers. They knew the value of rest for the land.
When Israel would enter the Promised Land the normal rhythm for that land would be sowing, pruning, and harvesting. This was the pattern for six years in a row. (Sabbath is important, but sometimes God’s people forget the other side, “Six days thou shalt labor.”) Three things were intended by this land at rest. First, this Sabbath was to the Lord. Second, during this Sabbath the land would continue to produce. Finally, this Sabbath was widespread. It was for the people, their servants (both male and female), the hired worker, and the temporary resident (sojourner). It was even for the livestock and wild animals (living things). The land being at rest would put Israel in a posture of trusting God for their daily bread.
People @Rest The land was not the only thing that received a do-over. The nation was to receive the same benefit. First God informed Moses and the people how to reckon the Year of Jubilee. The number of “completeness” was used to mark it out. 7…7’s were counted amounting to 49 years.
Perhaps most significant was when this all took place in the Jewish calendar. It was the tenth day of the seventh month. That month is special for the Feast of Tabernacles but also for the Day of Atonement (Kippur, meaning “covering”). It is theologically significant that the do-over would be when God went about forgiving people and setting people free. Israel was to consecrate (make holy) the fiftieth year. Property was returned, slaves were freed, and land was restored. Most important was that liberty was proclaimed.
Based on Christian Standard Writings
Submitted by Donna Reed
Beth Eden Baptist Church