Monday, March 21, 2011

The Jubilee

Have you ever read about the jubilee that was celebrated every 50 years in the ancient nation of Israel?
It is a powerful, almost unbelievable, practice in the life of those people, prescribed by God as an essential part of their national life.
You'll find it described in Leviticus 25 and mentioned in Leviticus 27 and Numbers 36.  Take a moment to read Leviticus 25.
Every fifty years everything was to be restored to the way it originally was - slaves were set free, debts were cancelled, property returned to its original owners.

Our way of living, especially in the western world, is so far removed from what happened there that it is almost impossible for us to understand how such an arrangement would work.
Nevertheless, with the huge amount of debt we all carry, whether as individuals, businesses, governments or nations, and the percentage of our incomes we use to service these debts, surely it is a better way to live, as God's way always is.

If the Jubilee is God's way, and worked so well in the ancient past, don't you think this is still God's way and can say something to us about how things will pan out for the entire creation in the end?
The physical jubilee that happened in national Israel says something exciting to us about the spiritual way it will work at the end of the ages.

All of mankind is in debt to God and slaves to sin and Satan.  But Jesus paid for all our debts to guarantee a jubilee for all of mankind.  And Jesus will also bind and reform Satan and so free all mankind from its slavery to him.  And we will be returned to our original condition - the image of God - when we see Jesus.

The jubilee for Israel becomes the pattern for the jubilee for all of us.
Paul describes this jubilee in Romans 8 : 18 - 21 in these words........
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

Israel may no longer obey God's commands today, and we certainly don't either.  But when all the kingdoms of this world have become Christ's, God's ways will be followed and Jesus will oversee creation's jubilee.

Isn't the Bible so full of the promise of the victorious gospel of grace?


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