God Calls People to Jubilee

Key Verse: “Ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
—Leviticus 25:10

Selected Scripture:
Leviticus 25:8-24

THIS LESSON DESCRIBES a feature of Israel’s law called the Jubilee. The word Jubilee signifies ‘acclamation of joy.’ In the instructions God gave to Moses, as cited in the Key Verse, every fifty years was to be a Jubilee year. It was to be a year of great reverence toward God, with much joy and thankfulness for his manifold blessings toward all the people.

One of the important features of the Jubilee year was the proclamation of liberty to all the people. If anyone had sold their possessions in prior years, perhaps due to necessity in order to provide for their family, or some other reason of need, these possessions were to be returned to them in the Jubilee year. Likewise, if anyone had been sold as a servant or slave during the years since the last Jubilee, they were now deemed as free and could return to their family. Even the land was to be free from being worked during the Jubilee year. Rather than plant and harvest, the people were to eat of the increase from previous years, allowing the land to rest.—Lev. 25,27

Other than the instructions given to Israel concerning the Jubilee year, very little else is known about their keeping of this feature of the Law. However, in the accounts cited above, we see a fitting picture related to mankind and the glorious plan of salvation God has arranged for their ultimate blessing. Since the fall of Adam and Eve into sin, all mankind has been enslaved to its downward effects. Man’s original possessions of life, peace, health, and happiness, have all been lost to a greater or lesser degree. Man himself has become a servant and slave, in bondage to sin and ultimately death. As the Apostle Paul states, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”—Rom. 5:12

“Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” (Gen. 3:17-19) These verses indicate that another part of man’s loss of liberty was the result of the curse placed upon the earth. We see the great struggles man has endured over the centuries as he has tried to provide food for himself under the shadow of this curse.

How thankful we are that through Christ’s coming kingdom, man will be given an opportunity for life once again, to learn righteousness, and to eventually be fully restored to full liberty and freedom from all the vestiges of sin and its effects. It will be at the end of that kingdom, when man is fully restored to all that Adam lost, when all enemies are destroyed that have kept man in bondage, that a Jubilee will be sounded throughout the earth such as never before known. Concerning that time, we read, “He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. … He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”—Rev. 21:5,7

Dawn Bible Students Association
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