Today you should read: Leviticus 25
I love agriculture. I loved my time at EKU in the Ag Department studying animal science, plant science, beef production, milk production, forages, agribusiness management…. (you get the idea). In addition to studying about agriculture I love actually living out an agrarian lifestyle. Nothing makes me happier than being out on the farm putting in an honest day’s work. Scripture is full of agricultural principles, parallels, and parables that were very applicable to the people of Biblical times and that I personally love to study about today. One example of this is today’s passage in Leviticus 25.
God commanded His people to take a Sabbath Day (Deuteronomy 5) from their work every seventh day. This time of Sabbath provided a time of rest for God’s people and time for them to focus completely on Him. Here in the first part of chapter 25 we see that God also commands a Sabbath Year for the land that the Israelites would inhabit and cultivate. This Sabbath would allow one year in seven for the fields to lay fallow and rest from crop production, allowing nutrients in the soil to be replenished. This system of resting the land/rotating crops is still a practice of good stewardship among farmers of arable farm land even today. But, more than just the practical side of resting the land, the Sabbath Year showed the Israelites that they needed to depend completely on God for all their needs and that everything they had was His in the first place. Verses 20-23 show us that God not only promised to provide for the Israelites in the Sabbath Year, but to bless them with a yield of crops for three years! We can certainly see that when we are obedient to God He ALWAYS provides for our needs above and beyond what we even think is possible.
The Year of Jubilee is another way that God showed Israel that He was in control and that He would provide for the needs of both the rich and poor. The Year of Jubilee included canceling all debts, freeing all slaves, returning land to its original owners, etc. One of the greatest applications that we can make from these passages today is that God doesn’t desire for His people to have an attitude of ownership over anything (in this case it was land, people and houses); but rather an attitude of stewardship in which we recognize that everything belongs to God and we are merely stewards of it. We are stewards of the finances He blesses us with, the families He gives us, the gifts and abilities we possess, are all because of Him. Therefore, if everything we have is from God, then everything we have should be used for God’s glory and His purposes.
How are you using what God has blessed you with in your life? Are you using it for your own selfish ambitions and desires or for His glory and purposes? Spend some time today prayerfully considering these questions. Also, spend time today prayerfully praising God that He promises to provide for you when you are obedient to Him and jubilantly praise Him for that today just as Israel was instructed to do every fifty years.
Posted by: Matt Mofield