The Sabbath Year and The Year of Jubilee

The Sabbath Year and The Year of Jubilee

Leviticus 25

The Sabbatical Year – verses 1-7

This is an expansion of Exodus 23:10-11 which itself is expanded in Deuteronomy 15:1-2. Such stipulations allowed for faith in God’s sovereignty and his capacity to provide.

The Jubilee Year – verses 8-55

“… the two main thrusts of the jubilee, liberty and restoration, were both easily transferred from the strictly economic provision of the jubilee itself to a wider metaphorical application. The idea of redemption and return are combined in the future vision of Isaiah 35.”

“The jubilee still remains as a powerful model in formulating Christian biblical ethics. Its primary assumptions and objectives can be used as a guide and critique for our own ethical agenda in the modern world”.

A Final Word from Paul Before He Visits Corinth Again

2 Corinthians 13

This is the conclusion of a letter written by a true pastor. His deepest concern was for the spiritual welfare of all those who professed faith in Christ in Corinth. Some have a need to repent and he will seek to bring them to that position. In Christ’s Name and in his power he will act to correct what is wrong. We writes however, that those who need to change will change before he arrives.

We too need to be open to correction and, with the greatest humility possible, be prepared to offer correction where it might be needed.

His closing words seek to encourage joy, maturity, harmony and peace.

Verse 14 is a prayer we can each pray for ourselves and for our fellow believers.

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An Ordered Life of Worship and Witness

An Ordered Life of Worship and Witness

Leviticus 23-24

Chapter 23 outlines the seven Festivals that marked the Israel year. These Festivals were an expression of devotion to the God who had rescued them and part of the means whereby they kept their unique character constantly before them.

The Festivals were:

The Weekly Sabbath vv. 1-3

The Spring Festivals 4-22

Passover and Unleavened Bread vv. 4-8

Firstfruits vv. 9-14

Weeks vv. 15-21

A requirement to meet the needs of the poor v.22

The Autumn Festivals

Trumpets vv. 23-26

The Day of Atonement vv. 26-32

The Festival of Shelters of Booths vv. 33-43

Conclusion v.44

These Festivals are amongst those elements of Torah that have passed away. Christians have one specific act of remembrance which is the Lord’s Supper. However, what are sometimes called the liturgical churches (like Anglicans) have adopted a ‘church year’ that celebrates parts of the gospel story as a teaching tool and an aid to sustained and biblically focused worship.

Chapter 24 deals with the care of the Temple (verses 1-9) and the punishment of a blasphemer and other penalties for wrongdoing.

All life to to be dedicated to God in loving obedience and prayerful worship.

 

God’s Power in Paul’s Weakness

2 Corinthians 12

Paul’s experience has a lesson for each of us: God is our Enabler. We can do whatever He calls us to be and do because He is able.

Paul’s actions were dictated by his love for those to whom he ministered. He sought to serve the Corinthians in sincerity. Even his severity was an expression of genuine concern. He cared enough to challenge. Do we?

“All is a Chasing After Wind”

All is a Chasing After Wind”

Ecclesiastes 2

Pleasures, Wisdom, Folly and Toil, are all judged to be without meaning when life is placed in its larger context. So the writer came to hate life (v.17) which he judged finally to be meaningless.

We all know that what we are, what we have, and what we achieve will, one day, mean nothing. These are words to be read and pondered by all.

Though his meditations are sound and sober good sense (especially verses 24-26) yet there is something further to be considered in the purposes of God.

 

Where Meaninglessness is Swallowed Up in Praise and Purpose

Ephesians 1:1-14

In this passage there is revealed the blessings with which those who belong to Christ have been blessed by God.

The Father has lavishly purposed from before time to have son and daughters to share eternity with Him, including children from his ancient people as well as people from every tribe and tongue. To make this possible for sinful human beings He, in the person of the Son, and through the latter’s death upon the cross, brought about the forgiveness of sins. Those who have heard and received God’s good news have received as a seal that they are His, the indwelling presence of His own Holy Spirit.

How wonderfully God has dealt with Solomon’s vexations as he long ago pondered the meaningless of so much that lay before him.

What answers to asked but unanswered questions will we, one day, receive in God’s new creation?

“Meaningless, Meaningless, Everything is Meaningless”

Meaningless, Meaningless, Everything is Meaningless”

Ecclesiastes 1

Everything is meaningless, concludes this ancient Teacher from his highly advantaged position of great wealth and wisdom. Yes, even greatly valued wisdom bears this same character, “for with wisdom comes much sorrow”.

The race is doomed”, said a more recent writer. “Every race that comes into being in any part of the universe is doomed; for the universe, they tell us, is running down …all life will turn out in the end to have been a transitory and senseless contortion upon the idiotic face of infinite matter …

However, he continued, “There was one question which I never dreamed of raising … if the universe is so bad … how on earth did human beings ever come to attribute it to activity of a wise and good Creator?” (C. S. Lewis)

So, it all depends on where you look.

 

What Makes Human Life Meaningful?

Matthew 28:11-20

The opportunity of experiencing the saving love of the world’s Creator and Lord and offering it to others.

Humble Confession

Humble Confession

Nehemiah 9:1-37a

The passage is a sustained confession of spiritual failure and an acknowledgement that their history of exile was the consequence of their failure of loyalty to the God who had made them his people.

In our own daily lives there are ample occasions to be disloyal to the God who has called us in Jesus to be His children. Confession and repentance are not matters for the past only. Here now in Australia, Christians face a serious challenge to the universally and millennia held view of the nature of marriage. In the future it could well become a punishable offense (as it has in other places) to maintain that ancient and universal view and to express in public the Bible’s position on marriage and same sex unions.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Matthew 21:12-17

Matthew, Mark and Luke each record this event while John has a similar account but placed earlier in the ministry of Jesus. There has been sustained discussion about the reasons for this difference.

Jesus drew on three Old Testament passages in this segment. The first is from Isaiah 56:7, the second from Jeremiah 7:11, and the third from Psalm 8:2.

The first quotation comes from a passage in which Isaiah speaks of God including in his people members of others nations who serve Him and love His Name. His temple will be a place for all nations. Jesus’ command to take the gospel to all the world and make disciples from the nations is the further expression of this same truth.

The second quotation is from God’s word to Jeremiah in which ancient Israel is challenged to begin to practise obedience to God and not to place confidence solely in the physical presence of the Temple. The applicability of Jesus’ words is obvious.

The third Old Testament passage quoted by Jesus links the gratitude and praise of those whom Jesus healed to the infants mentioned in the Psalm. Sadly the leadership saw the deeds of Jesus but would not accept what they conveyed.

Let us pray that we will always be attuned to what God is doing in His world.

Humble Confession

Humble Confession

Nehemiah 9:1-37a

The passage is a sustained confession of spiritual failure and an acknowledgement that their history of exile was the consequence of their failure of loyalty to the God who had made them his people.

In our own daily lives there are ample occasions to be disloyal to the God who has called us in Jesus to be His children. Confession and repentance are not matters for the past only. Here now in Australia, Christians face a serious challenge to the universally and millennia held view of the nature of marriage. In the future it could well become a punishable offence (as it has in other places) to maintain that ancient and universal view and to express in public the Bible’s position on marriage and same sex unions.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Matthew 21:12-17

Matthew, Mark and Luke each record this event while John has a similar account but placed earlier in the ministry of Jesus. There has been sustained discussion about the reasons for this difference.

Jesus drew on three Old Testament passages in this segment. The first is from Isaiah 56:7, the second from Jeremiah 7:11, and the third from Psalm 8:2.

The first quotation comes from a passage in which Isaiah speaks of God including in his people members of others nations who serve Him and love His Name. His temple will be a place for all nations. Jesus’ command to take the gospel to all the world and make disciples from the nations is the further expression of this same truth.

The second quotation is from God’s word to Jeremiah in which ancient Israel is challenged to begin to practise obedience to God and not to place confidence solely in the physical presence of the Temple. The applicability of Jesus’ words is obvious.

The third Old Testament passage quoted by Jesus links the gratitude and praise of those whom Jesus healed to the infants mentioned in the Psalm. Sadly the leadership saw the deeds of Jesus but would not accept what they conveyed.

Let us pray that we will be attuned to what God is doing in His world.

Humble Confession

Humble Confession

Nehemiah 9:1-37a

The passage is a sustained confession of spiritual failure and an acknowledgement that their history of exile was the consequence of their failure of loyalty to the God who had made them his people.

In our own daily lives there are ample occasions to be disloyal to the God who has called us in Jesus to be His children. Confession and repentance are not matters for the past only. Here now in Australia, Christians face a serious challenge to the universally and millennia held view of the nature of marriage. In the future it could well become a punishable offence (as it has in other places) to maintain that ancient and universal view and to express in public the Bible’s position on marriage and same sex unions.

 

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Matthew 21:12-17

Matthew, Mark and Luke each record this event while John has a similar account but placed earlier in the ministry of Jesus. There has been sustained discussion about the reasons for this difference.

Jesus drew on three Old Testament passages in this segment. The first is from Isaiah 56:7, the second from Jeremiah 7:11, and the third from Psalm 8:2.

The first quotation comes from a passage in which Isaiah speaks of God including in his people members of others nations who serve Him and love His Name. His temple will be a place for all nations. Jesus’ command to take the gospel to all the world and make disciples from the nations is the further expression of this same truth.

The second quotation is from God’s word to Jeremiah in which ancient Israel is challenged to begin to practise obedience to God and not to place confidence solely in the physical presence of the Temple. The applicability of Jesus’ words is obvious.

The third Old Testament passage quoted by Jesus links the gratitude and praise of those whom Jesus healed to the infants mentioned in the Psalm. Sadly the leadership saw the deeds of Jesus but would not accept what they conveyed.

Let us pray that we will be attuned to what God is doing in His world.