The idea of a Sabbath has always been an important principle. It carries with it the idea of resting and of focus on God. The nation of Israel was to rest every 7th day, every 7th year, and the 50th year was to be a Year of Jubilee. But the Sabbath spoke of more than just rest. See our reading in Leviticus to see what the Sabbath and the Year of Jubilee pictures for us?
The Year of Jubilee
The children of Israel were to not only observe a Sabbath each week. There was also to be a Sabbath year every seven years. This was a year for the land, as well as the people, to rest. This allowed the nutrients in the soil to be replenished while it kept the people focused on God. It was a reminder that everything, including the land, was the Lord’s. They were merely stewards over it. That is still true today with whatever the Lord has blessed us: jobs, property, talents, even our children.
Then every fifty years, after seven sets of seven years, there was to be a year of Jubilee! This was an additional year of rest from labor, but even more importantly, all the Israelites who had fallen on hard times were to be restored, released from indebtedness and given back family property. This would be even more important once they had gone in and taken possession of the Promised Land because God would allocate land to each of the twelve tribes for an inheritance.
An amazing thing would take place leading up to the year of Jubilee. On the sixth year God would provide such abundance that it would sustain the people for three years! What a beautiful picture of God’s provision! And what a great reminder to us with all the talk about hard economic times that if we keep God at the center of our lives, not pull back from His commands to give into the kingdom, put His agenda ahead of ours, and be generous with others, He will care for us.