Fascinating! My environmentally-conscious friends should like these verses! God's consideration for the land -- for its rest and its honor -- is significant, and the humans must concede to its need for rest from our constant use of it. In Biblical terms, the sabbath year is holy, the land is holy, and the heavenly land that it represents is very holy.
After seven sabbath years -- forty-nine years -- the Israelites had a year of Jubilee, a wonderful year. This 50th year could be defined by one exhilarating term: Freedom!! If you were a slave, you were freed. If you had debts, they were forgiven. If you'd lost your family land, you got it back. In God's economy, everyone had a home. Everyone. And once again, you were free from doing any work on the land -- free from work, for an entire year!
Sounds a little bit like heaven, doesn't it?
Don't we all want the security of a home? I know I do. God's ideal for His people is to have a secure home, a home and land that cannot be taken away. (He made us humans, and He knows we're designed to live on soil, in houses.) Most of the people I know do own homes, or are well on their way to owning a home outright. It's odd ... but often people in full-time ministry do not have that simple blessing, that gift that was the right of every Israelite -- every child of God -- years ago. Missionaries, pastors, Christian school workers, Christian camp workers -- often they move from ministry to ministry, unable to purchase a home. Often housing is provided by the ministry (to have them live on the campus, or to keep costs down, or to help pad an otherwise low salary). A pastor who lives in a manse as part of his salary for decades will never be able to afford mortgage payments. A missionary who lives overseas is even less likely to afford a home in the U.S.
|The Pope's home|
"Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last, first." (Mark 10)
|Jimmy Swaggart's home|
|Billy Graham's home|
|Mother Teresa's single room|
Jesus said, "Foxes have dens, and birds have nests,
but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."