Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God gave instructions about sabbath and jubilee years. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on obeying God’s will regarding our stewardship of His gifts.
Read Leviticus 25:1-7
I. Sabbath Year. In our Sunday School material, the Lord sends word through Moses about the sabbath year. For six years the people are to work their land. But during the seventh year, the land is to rest. The people and animals can eat the food, but not work the land. This is to be done in obedience to the Lord’s instructions.
- God’s instructions through the leader. Notice in vss. 1-2 that the Lord told Moses what to tell the Lord’s people. In like manner, God is still telling the leaders He sent what to tell the people of God.
This means that leaders should give serious effort to hearing and sharing what God says, not just what they want or what the people want to hear. This also assumes that the people of God will hear and obey what God says through God’s leader.
We can all tell if what is being presented is of God, by comparing it with God’s word. Let’s work on hearing and obeying God’s word through the leader whom God has sent.
- God’s expectations. Notice in vs. 2 that God was giving the land to the Israelites, but He also had some expectations of what they would do with the land.
First, in like manner, God is still giving us great blessings. Think about not only the physical possessions that God allows us to have but also the immaterial blessings. Think about the assurance of being saved, peace in confusion, joy in sorrow, and hope in despair. Think about health and relationships.
Second, God expects us to handle our blessings in certain ways. We are to be stewards and caretakers of God’s blessings in ways that bring glory to Him. Think about how your stewardship of your health, wealth, relationships, and abilities bring glory to God. Let’s work on caring for the blessings that God gives us in ways that bring glory to Him.
- We still must work. Notice in vs. 3 that the Israelites were expected to work in the land that God was giving them. There are too many who behave as if they are not supposed to work. Or if they work, they think that they have earned the blessing more than being a recipient of God’s gift.
We should prepare ourselves to do the work that God is calling us to do as stewards of the gifts that He has given us. Just as a person can work for a company 20 years and not own the company, we should not think more highly of ourselves than we should.
Our seniority doesn’t change our
status from being a steward to be an owner. We should simply be a better
steward. Let’s work on doing the work of
taking care of the blessings that God has given us.
- Obeying and trusting the Lord. Notice in vss. 4-7 that the people were to observe the sabbath year in obedience to God. There were some side benefits. Resting the land helped the land to be more fruitful. Resting the land allowed the poor to have more food to be able to glean from the fields.
But again, the primary reason for resting during the sabbath year was to demonstrate reverence and obedience to God. In like manner, there are times when obeying God’s will has side benefits.
For example, taking care of our bodies as God’s temples should be an act of obedience, but it can also help us have a better quality and quantity of life. Let’s work on obeying God and trusting Him to work things out for our good.
Read Leviticus 25:8-12
II. Year of Jubilee. In our Sunday School material, the Lord sends word about the jubilee year. Every seven sabbath years there is to be the jubilee year. That is, every 50 years, not only is there a sabbath year, but debts are to be released. People can go back to their family’s property.
- Being right with God and His people. Notice in vss. 8-12 that every fiftieth year, there was to be both a day of atonement with God and a year of jubilee among God’s people.
First, those who have been saved should be mindful of how blessed we are to be saved. Our sins have been atoned for, by way of Jesus’ death for our sin debts.
Second, the more blessed we are, the more of a blessing we should strive to be to others. As individuals, we can be kind and even compassionate to especially those who are less fortunate than we are.
As citizens, we can strive to support communal ways to help the less fortunate get back on their feet and no longer need charity from the community (e.g., gainful job training and placement; affordable and quality drug treatment, mental health, counseling, and physical health care; housing; business training, opportunities, and capital; etc.). Let’s work on being right with God and His people.
Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying God’s will regarding our
stewardship of His gifts. God has much for those who obey His will.