When the Nation of Israel followed God’s commands to observe a Sabbath year every 7 years and a Year of Jubilee every 50 years, God provided so much on the 6th year that it sustained them for 3.
With all the talk today about hard economic times, how can we learn to rest in God’s provision? Here are 4 ways to enjoy true abundance whatever the circumstances around us.
4 Ways to Enjoy True Abundance
True Abundance & the Year of Jubilee
The idea of a Sabbath has always been an important principle in the Bible. God rested on the 7th day and has instructed us to take time to rest, as well. Sabbath isn’t just about rest, it’s also about refocusing on God.
The children of Israel were not only to observe a Sabbath each week. There was 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!
With all the talk today about hard economic times, what does the year of Jubilee picture for us? What can we do that will help us rest in God’s provision?
4 Ways to Enjoy True Abundance
- Stay focused on God’s agenda. Matthew 6.33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” What things? The things mentioned in the previous verses in Matthew 6: food, shelter, and clothing—the necessities of life.
- Give to the work of God. While I’m not advocating a give-to-get attitude or saying God will make us all rich, He does promise repeatedly to bless our giving (Mal. 3.10-12).
- Be generous with others (Lk. 6.38). And finally …
- Pray and trust Him (Matt. 6.11; Ps. 37.25).
If we keep God at the center of our lives, He will care for us.
Today’s Other Readings:
His Precious Possession
Restraint & Prayer
Verse 19 contains a great principle:
“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”
Often it’s better to “restrain” ourselves from talking so we don’t get off into sin. But we need to do more than just count to ten and control our anger. While we’re “restraining,” we need to pray and get focused on responding God’s way.
How well do you know Him?
Jesus performed a number of miracles in this passage: feeding the 5,000; walking on water and healing the sick. Yet we see that even His disciples didn’t fully understand Who He was. When they saw Him walking on the water, even though they had just witnessed the feeding of the 5,000, they didn’t believe it was Him until He spoke to them.
What about you? Do you know Him well enough that you see His hand in what is happening in your life? Or would you miss Him if He “walked by”?
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“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.