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Can I Trust God for a Whole Year?
How much do you trust God? If He told you to take a year off from work and trust Him to provide for you, would you do it?
Leviticus 25 tells of a time when God did that very thing. God designed a system to teach the people about His Trustworthiness. He gave very specific instructions for activities that would lead up to a time of mega-celebration called The Year of Jubilee. It would be celebrated every fifty years.
In the Jubilee system, God directed that even the land must be afforded rest. Every seventh year, the people were to let the land rest and not grow anything. The people might have worried that they might starve. This did not sound like a time of Joy!
However, God added, as recorded in verses six and seven,
Whatever the land yields in the sabbath year
will be food for you —
your male and female servants,
and the hired worker
and temporary resident who live among you,
as well as your livestock
and the wild animals in your land.
Whatever the land produces may be eaten.
That’s a lot of food! Where was it going to come from? God would provide it! He had already demonstrated His Trustworthiness in the desert when He fed the people with manna.
Trusting God One Day At A Time
Exodus 16 records how God told the people to gather the food He provided each day and not worry about His Provision the next day. The next day He provided again. The food was always fresh, abundant, and on time.
God also directed the people not to gather anything on the seventh day. They were to look at what He had provided (double the usual amount) on the sixth day. It was to be a time of being still and recognizing that He was indeed God, their Provider.
Continuing Trust in God to be God
Through God’s Jubilee System, He was going to see if the people learned the lesson. Would they trust Him for more than just one day? Would they really believe He would provide for them for a whole year when they could not provide for themselves? Would they be still and KNOW that He was indeed God, their Provider?
Verses 8-54 of chapter 25 of Leviticus record God’s very specific instructions for the Pinnacle of Celebration, the Year of Jubilee, also known as The Year of The Lord’s Favor.
Count off seven sabbath years
— seven times seven years —
so that the seven sabbath years amount to
a period of forty-nine years.
Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere
on the tenth day of the seventh month;
on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year
and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.
It shall be a jubilee for you;
each of you is to return
to your family property and to your own clan.
The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you;
do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself
or harvest the untended vines.
For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you;
eat only what is taken from the fields.
In the year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property.
To many, going home is a wonderful thought. We might think of our earthly homes, where the milk and chocolate chip cookies were served up by loving parents. We might think of hugs we have not felt in awhile. Or we might think of the Heaven we anticipate that is perfect in every way.
However, some thoughts of home may make us shutter. If we get the best of the best again, then it will be an exceptional time of celebration. But what if going home means reliving ALL that happened there?
Because we get away from our past does not mean we have come to peace with what happened there. We may believe we have moved on, calmly closing the door to everything but happy memories.
However, the truth is that we may have fled from some memories. Tucked away in the back of the closets of our minds lie the fears, feelings of powerlessness and anger over things that happened on the family property.
Some try not to think about what happened at home. Others take out the broken pieces and cut themselves on a regular basis, rehearsing again how unfair life was. “Moving on” does not always mean “moving past.”
But God has an assignment for us before we enter the full celebration of The Jubilee. It will involve taking a walk back in time. It will involve confronting the memories of times when we felt powerless. However, this walk back in time with be with The Holy Spirit, who has all Power to restore and heal. This time you will be safe. This time you will know what to do.
When Does The Jubilee Begin?
God was very specific about when to sound the trumpet signaling the beginning of Jubilee. It was to be done on The Day of Atonement.
Leviticus 16 gives the details of the Day of Atonement that God had already established. On that day, the priest was to make atonement for the sins of the people.
God was demonstrating the road to take to get to The Jubilee. On the Day of Atonement, the priest was to first repent before God of his own sins and then those of his family. After that he was to ask forgiveness for the sins of the people.
Boulders That Block The Road To Joy
Sin may be described as anything that interferes with our view of God. He is always present with us. But we may not see Him clearly when sins are in front of us … or in the case of home, perhaps behind us.
Unpacking to Go Home
As we turn for home, we must consider what we need to repent of. We may know right off what that might be. We may not. We may need to pray the very courageous prayer of David.
Search me, God, and know my heart.
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
David knew the feeling of anxiety thinking of what God would surely find. But He knew in order for his cup to overflow (See Psalm 23), the inside of his cup would have to be clean first.
When we feel we have repented of everything, we can praise God that our sins are forgiven! Those boulders are cleared from the road to Joy.
Being An Instrument of Atonement
But then we need to continue to pray with boldness. We need to next ask God if perhaps in the dark corners of our mind, we have held onto resentment, bitterness or unforgiveness of those who may have wronged us in our homes.
Because we loved or respected those who were there, often we have covered our hurts. We have tried to justify any wrongs. But somewhere inside the hurt has grown. We may not even recognize where the present day hurt comes from, but God knows. He is ready to free us from the pain, if we will trust Him to heal us at the deepest levels.
Having repented, released and received forgiveness from God, we are now ready to be an instrument of atonement for others. God has set us free, but we will never truly be free until we can reach out spiritually to ask for good for those who hurt us. We are ready to be an instrument of Atonement.
Atonement means to reconcile or bring into unity with God. It has been rightly said that atonement means “at-one-ment.”
Jesus desired that we all be one. In order to be one, we must not only clear the boulders from our own path, but we must also ask that God in His Power remove the boulders from the paths of others, so that we may walk together as one.
(Jesus speaking to His Father, God)
My prayer is not for them alone.
I pray also for those who will believe in Me
through their message,
that all of them may be one, Father,
just as You are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be in us so that
the world may believe that You have sent Me.
In the ceremony on the Day of Atonement, the priest was directed to confess the sins of the people to God. Was it within his power to forgive them? Yes. Could he cleanse them of their sins? No. He was simply releasing them to God to allow the full Power of God to work in their lives.
Setting The Captives Free
When we pray for others to be forgiven of their sins, we may discover it is we who first need to forgive them. We may be surprised to find we have been imprisoned for years, as we attempted to keep them imprisoned in the dark places of our memories.
When we spiritually open the doors to let our prisoners go free, it is tempting to want to tell them (even in our minds) one more time that what they did was not right or fair and to give a “victim impact” statement, followed by a stern warning to be back with us soon, as they will be on “probation” for the rest of their lives.
However, Jesus set the example from the cross.
“Father, forgive them,
for they do not know what they are doing.”
We might protest that certainly they knew what they were doing. We might also say the same for anyone who hurt us. But Jesus saw beyond their actions to the blindness of their souls. In fact, those who were sinning did not realize the lasting impact of what they were doing. In the spirit of Grace and Mercy, we can also say that those who hurt us did not realize the full impact of their actions.
After setting your captives free, pray for God’s Goodness to be released in their lives. Pray that they too will know the Joy of their salvation and walk free. Does this mean that you need to go to them and do an in person reconciliation? Not necessarily. If God directs you to do that, then obey Him. However, the atonement in which you are participating is a release to God’s actions. Your actions depend upon what He tells you to do.
God Is Good All The Time! (or is He?)
Are there any other boulders that need to be cleared before you can go home on Jubilee Day? Yes! A very important big boulder!
The celebration of The Jubilee was rooted in trusting God. The people were to trust God for His Provision. They were to trust that what He said He would do, He would do. They were to trust that He would put the rightness and wrongness where it belonged. They were to trust Him to forgive their sins. They were to forgive the debts of others. They were to go home and find peace and joy waiting there.
Sooner or later, when we look at the evils in the world, we find ourselves asking God if He is in fact God, why He would allow bad things to happen or why He didn’t stop it. The entire book of Job is devoted to this topic. Job seemed to have lost everything, but a nagging wife and questionable friends … and God.
The question that comes front and center in Job is an issue of trust. Can we trust God in a world that seems to have gone mad? Can we trust God when our losses are overwhelming? Can we trust that God really has a Plan for us that is good?
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares The Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
The final turn onto The Jubilee Road is whether we can trust God to know The Plan without ever telling us every detail. We may not ever know why things happened as they did or why they are happening as they are now. But we will be traveling with Three Who do know and Three Who will be with you always. They are all calling to you now. “Get ready! We’re going to a Jubilee!”
Your Traveling Companions On The Way To The Jubilee
The Lord replied,
“My Presence will go with you,
and I will give you rest.”
Surely I am with you always …
(The Holy Spirit)
And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another Advocate
to help you and be with you forever —