"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Thursday, December 9, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter TWENTYFIVE

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith 

LEVITICUS 25: “The Lord of the Sabbath is our Jubilee” – by Albert Lopez, Facebook video not available

INTRODUCTION: The Lord spoke to Moses again and addressed the people on the Sanctity of the land that he had promised them. He also instructed them on the year of Jubilee. Sadly, in later years the nonobservance of this command led to Israel’s captivity, in which the land observed it’s Sabbaths without the presence of the people of the covenant. These laws ensured that God’s people set aside times to acknowledge that the bounty of the earth they share is a gift from the sovereign Creator!
Here we’ll be getting into the year of Jubilee, and what it represents. For Israel, it meant that all debts were cancelled, those in indentured servitude were let free, and it was a time for joy and celebration, every 50 years.
For us, it represents the freedom we have in Christ, for all of our debts were paid at the Cross, and we now have liberty in Christ, no longer under the Law that would condemn us, but granted the Spirit of GOD as dear children, so that by our liberty we are enabled to love and serve the LORD, rather than ourselves!

The Sabbath of the 7th Year
LEVITUCUS 25:1-7

1 ¶ And the LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the LORD. 3 'Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; 4 'but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 'What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. 6 'And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, 7 'for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land-all its produce shall be for food
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Verse 3: Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit;

“Six years” - six is the number of man; man does his part: toils the land by the sweat of his brows as God told Adam he would do and that curse followed us.

Verse 4: but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.
But during the 7th year- There will be rest for the land – this is the Sabbath rest of the land:
Exodus 23:11
but in the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie uncultivated, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the animal of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove
.
The number seven is God’s number; it is completeness. God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th day. God was modeling for us so that we may follow. God also calls us to work just as he calls us to rest.

The words, “Sow, Prune, Gather” these are action words. God expects us to work to provide for our families, especially men of the household.

Paul said:
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 12 Now we command and exhort such persons in the Lord Jesus Christ to work peacefully and eat their own bread
.
Of course, being a ‘busybody’ is a person who meddles in the affairs of others.

Verse 5: What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land.

The land shall have a sabbatical year. A year of complete rest:

God is gracious and such a good God that he not only provides rest for humanity but also for the land which he formed or created. We must understand that God is God, and we are not. He being the creator had the manuals as to how to care for his creation which includes rest for His land. Just as He commanded for the Hebrews to rest, so also was the commandment for the land – it was not optional!

Verse 6: And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you,

The Sabbath produce of the land as food; whatever the land yields or gives, remember that The Lord is the Lord of the Sabbath, and he also provides on the Sabbath: What does he provide? Rest and whatever physical and spiritual needs anyone who rests in Him will have.
Jesus said:
Matthew 11:28
Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest
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Who is this provision for? Look at the list: yourself, your male and female slaves, and your hired worker and your foreign resident, those who live as strangers among you.
If that wasn’t enough: Like verse 7 says “Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its produce to eat.” What a good provider the Israelites had and like it says the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is your God too.
Philippians 4:19-20
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen
.
Paul from prison encourages the church with these words; and he encourages you and I with these words as well! Is he your God? If he is then, be comforted! If he isn’t, cry out to him and ask him (James 4:2) to be, and you will see His saving power. You will also see His mighty hand of provision!!

The year of Jubilee

LEVITICUS 25:8-17

8 And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. 9 'Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 10 'And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 'That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12 'For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field. 13 'In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. 14 'And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor's hand, you shall not oppress one another. 15 'According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. 16 'According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. 17 'Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God.
Jubilee – this comes from yobel which means Ram’s Horn which was used to signal the start of this joyful year which occurred every 50th year
.

Verse 10: And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.

This was to proclaim a release throughout the land, it was the time of freedom, the year of jubilee that we are reading about. It’s a freedom for all of its inhabitants who were in bondage you can say. The freedom they needed was from slavery to a man. This wasn’t the chains and whips sort of slavery but rather, a means to work off debts incurred, rather than going to ‘debtors prison’.
Jesus not only came to proclaim freedom, as he read from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 61); he is freedom; He came to set us free! The freedom we need is the freedom from sin, death, and hell!
Luke 4:18-19
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, 19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
.
Verse 14: And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor's hand, you shall not oppress one another.
“You shall not wrong (oppress) one another”: This statement repeats in these verses we read. Jesus said love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). Treat someone fairly and do unto others as you would like done to you.

Verse 17: Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God.

“Fear your God, I am the Lord your God”: In case you were asking or have asked why don’t we take advantage of each other? Answer: the fear of the Lord!
1 Thessalonians 4:6
and that no one violate the rights and take advantage of his brother or sister in the matter, because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you previously and solemnly warned you
.
This passage goes on to say that whoever rejects this instruction and other instructions given is not rejecting man but is rejecting God!
Proverbs 14:31
One who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, but one who is gracious to the needy honors Him
.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FEAR THE LORD? TO FEAR GOD?

1. Obedience to God’s commandments: The Lord has given us very specific commandments in His word, and He expects us to obey Him no matter the circumstances or situations.
No matter what others may say in offering us a good-sounding alternative plan to God’s commands, we must never choose to follow their advice over GOD’s commands.
Schemes of man’s designs may seem to make sense, but the Lord tells us. “There is a way which seems right to a man, but it’s end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). God’s word is very clear! The problem Christians encounter is, we may know what is right and what God’s will is for our lives, but we choose to disobey Him. This always leads to disappointment, frustration, and heartache.

2. A desire to be like Jesus
Those who truly love Jesus as their Savior and Lord will want to be like Him.
“I want to be like Mike” That Gatorade commercial showed Michael Jordan in all his glory! Jesus shows us the Glory and Majesty of God. This is what is truly glorious! Moses understood this; that is why he asked to see God’s glory.
How did Jesus live? Jesus lived in complete obedience to His Father. He did only what the Father instructed Him to do, and He spoke only what the Father prompted Him to say.
John 8:29
"And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."
What Jesus did we are to do: So how do we do it?
Not to the best of our ability but in submission to God. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live as Jesus lived, and it’s our responsibility to ask Him to guide, help, counsel, and empower us to obey. The more we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us, the more we become and live more like Jesus. That’s what sanctification is about!

3. A Life of Courage
Those who fear mankind and natural disasters suffer a panic that paralyzes. Those who fear the Lord with a holy awe, on the other hand, find a courage that mobilizes them to act. God challenges His people to live in confidence and to respond boldly and courageously to life. Such “heroes of the faith” as Moses, Joshua and the Apostle Peter and Paul faced incredible challenges, yet they succeeded because of their God-given courage. They learned the same lesson that emboldened Ezra to say “I was strengthened according to the hand of the Lord my God upon me”.

So, we find that Obedience to God’s commandments, A desire to be like Jesus and a life of courage are all signs of Fearing the Lord in a practical way. Obedience is met with divine blessing. God would see to it that compliance with his commandments would result in His bounty for His people.

LEVITICUS 25:18-22
18 'So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. 19 'Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety. 20 'And if you say, "What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?" 21 'Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years. 22 'And you shall sow in the eighth year and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest
.

Verses 18-19: So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. 19 'Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.

“You will dwell in the land safely” or securely: We read this in both of these verses.

I think we can agree that the whole world is looking for security, but we all know that security is not found in this world or the things of this world! There is no one more secure, than when he or she is in the hands of the Lord!!
Psalm 91:1
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."
Verse 20: And if you say, "What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?"

This is a question to the command given by the Lord in the earlier verses. What will we eat in the 7th year? That’s a long year to have to wait and rely on what the land produced and to see if the land produced enough to get you through. There is always uncertainty when we feel we don’t have control. However, the bible tells us to relinquish or give up control. It doesn’t say figure it out; it says trust the Lord.
Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight
This is the answer to their question of “What will we eat???”

Verse 21-22: Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years. 22 'And you shall sow in the eighth year and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest.

The Lord never comes too early or too late; He comes right on time. You probably have experienced this perfect timing in your lives. I know I have. God’s timing is perfect!! We are called to seek Him because as he has told us ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 6:31-33
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you
.
Subheading:  The cure for Anxiety - don’t worry …pray and wait on the Lord.

LEVITICUS 25:23-34
23 'The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me. 24 'And in all the land of your possession you shall grant redemption of the land. 25 'If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold. 26 'Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it, 27 'then let him count the years since its sale and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession. 28 'But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession. 29 'If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it. 30 'But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee. 31 'However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee. 32 'Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, and the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time. 33 'And if a man purchases a house from the Levites, then the house that was sold in the city of his possession shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34 'But the field of the common-land of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession
.

Verse 23: The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me.
Because it is mine - God is referring to the land. Everything is the Lord’s including the land we are reading about and the one we currently live on.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
(see also Psalm 24:1).

Colossians 1:16
for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him
.

This is why the Lamb of God is worthy and able to open the scroll in Revelation because he has dominion and owns it all!!
Revelation 5:5-9
But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals." 6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation
,
Verse 25: If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold.

May Come and redeem or buy back: In the book of Ruth, we have an example of what we are reading about with Boaz becoming the Kinsmen redeemer of Ruth. Just like we are talking about redemption of Land, there was a greater redemption of our souls; if we recognize the Lord Jesus as our Kinsmen redeemer!!
Romans 8:23b
...even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons and daughters, the redemption of our body
.
1 Corinthians 1:30
But it is due to Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, [and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption
,
LEVITICUS 25:35-46
35 'If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 'Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. 37 'You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. 38 'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. 39 'And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. 40 'As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 'And then he shall depart from you-he and his children with him-and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. 42 'For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. 43 'You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God. 44 'And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have-from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45 'Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. 46 'And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor
.

Verse 35: If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you.
Help him, sustain him, like a stranger or a resident: the LORD called His people to have compassion on the strangers. This goes back to Exodus and the various laws:
Exodus 22:21
You shall not oppress a stranger nor torment him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 23:19
You shall not charge interest to your brother-interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest
.
This takes it further with a command not to hardened your hearts or shut your hand from your poor brother.

Verse 37: You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.
Your silver at interest nor your food for profit: God was telling them, Don’t try to gain an advantage over others as you help them out.

We have read in the bible: Freely you have received; freely give! (Matthew 10:8)
God’s hand has been gracious to you; return the grace: Be gracious to others If God increases your wages or blessings don’t raise your standard of living; instead raise your standard of giving!!

Verse 38: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.

…to give you the land of Canaan – Remember that the Covenant started back in Genesis with Abraham:
Genesis 17:7
I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your [descendants after you throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you
.
1. Who brought you out of the land of Egypt: The land of bondage: For us the church, the LORD took us out of the world’s dominion we are no longer slaves to the flesh, world or the devil. We war against these enemies.

2. GOD will give you the land of Canaan, that is, the promise land or Israel.
For the church: We are awaiting the new heavens and the new earth to dwell for eternity with our Lord Jesus!

3. To be your God: He was to rule over them; no king from among their kinsman, but the LORD Himself in a Theocracy. That is, until the Messiah, a kinsman of Israel came, and He will reign over Jacob forever (Luke 1:33).

To us: He reigns in our lives and hearts. We move because he allows us to move and breath because he gives us air to breath (Acts 17:28). He is all over it, He reigns in our lives here as well as the life to come!

Verse 39: And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave.

We need to consider ourselves so poor in Spirit because then and only then can we become slaves to Jesus and his Kingdom (Matthew 5:3)!

If a foreign slave became a follower of the one true God, he would no longer be considered a foreigner and would have the same rights and privileges of a Hebrew slave.
He bought us from the slave market but instead of forcing us to slave labor, He has given us freedom in Christ: If the Son sets you free then you are free indeed. You really will be free (John 8:36)!

Verse 40: As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee.

We are to think of ourselves as working for the Kingdom and therefore King Jesus; we are pilgrims passing by but we still work for the King while in this world, until that day!!
Romans 6:22-23
But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
.
Our true Jubilee will one day be fulfilled when The King returns to reign forever and ever.
Of redeeming a person who is poor.

LEVITICUS 25:47-55
47 'Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger's family, 48 'after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; 49 'or his uncle or his uncle's son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself. 50 'Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a hired servant for him. 51 'If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought. 52 'And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption. 53 'He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight. 54 'And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee-he and his children with him. 55 'For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God
.

Verse 51: If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought.

His purchase price is to be in proportion to the years remaining, for his own redemption price; The Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death (ROM 6:23): Jesus paid that price for me and for you so that we may live. Live? What do you mean? I’m alive, I’m breathing…

Live in the newness of life that has been purchased for us and given to us in the power of the Holy Spirit. In the power of God!!

Verse 55: For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

For the sons of Israel are My servants;
He reminded the Israelites who they were, and I want to remind us who we are also

1. Servants – They were servants and so are we.

2. Taken out of captivity – They were freed from slavery and oppression and so are we.

3. They answer to the one true God – We live for Him, and we answer to Him.

Romans.14:8
For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s
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