The Year of Jubilee, Part III
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
4 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, 5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, 6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.
8 Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, 9 yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ— 10 I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, 11 who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me.
12 I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, 13 whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. 14 But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.
15 For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, 16 no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17 If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. 18 But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. 19 I, Paul, am writing with my own hand. I will repay—not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self besides. 20 Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord.
21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.
Text Verse: “For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” 1 Corinthians 7:22, 23
In last week’s sermon, we ended with a passage on lending to a poor brother Israelite. No interest was to be levied on him, and he was to be treated properly in the Lord’s eyes. The Lord had redeemed them, and they were thus the Lord’s possession. It was therefore ultimately a self-defeating prospect to harm another of the Lord’s redeemed. The law would be violated, the Lord would be displeased, and the loss would ultimately outweigh any gain.
Further, in causing greater trouble to the poor, he would ultimately have to sell himself off as a slave to another. In such a situation, the law would again require certain things to be done in order to ensure proper treatment of this poor soul. To not follow through with those things would then lead to the law being further violated, to the Lord being more displeased, and thus only greater trouble would arise for those who so conducted their affairs.
The Lord wasn’t just breathing hot air when He gave these laws, and He eventually followed through with judgment on the people because of not heeding them. Jeremiah 34:17-20 specifically deals with the issue of the inappropriate treatment of fellow Israelite slaves. The details of what He promised to do are not pretty.
Paul, writing to Philemon on behalf of the slave Onesimus, did not appeal to the law, but he appealed to the spirit of the law. What is mandated for Israel was given to show us hints of the greater work of Christ, our Redeemer. The Year of Jubilee in Israel points ahead to the full, final, and forever redemption which is guaranteed to us because of what He has done. In the meantime, though redeemed, we are asked to act in a way which is honoring of the Lord who has accomplished the redemption. Such will be seen again as we finish up this beautiful chapter on the Year of Jubilee. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. Israelites as Masters (verses 39-46)
39 ‘And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor,
For the third time in one chapter, the word muk, or poor, is brought to our attention by the Lord. It was first seen in verse 25, and the context remains the same. It is speaking of a fellow Israelite who becomes poor. The word comes from a root meaning to be thin, and thus it is figuratively applied to one who becomes impoverished.
The Lord’s attention is on such a person, and it completely dispels the notion that He favors a person because of his wealth, status, or position. How important this is to remember as we sit in church, having come in a nice car, from a nice house filled with our life’s treasures, and after having eaten all we needed before we came. There is a feeling of satisfaction in such a state that “God must really favor me.” This is a dangerous mental trap which belies the truth of biblical favor. The Lord’s attention is carefully directed to all of His people, even the poorest, and His favor upon our physical prosperity cannot be equated to His favor on us as humans living in His presence. How evident this is from the next words…
39 (con’t) and sells himself to you,
There are several ways this could happen. Exodus 22:3 showed that a person could steal, and if he could not repay according to the law, he could be sold for his theft. In 1 Kings 4, is another example –
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” 2 Kings 4:1
Other passages give more details on Israelites who had been sold into bondage. For them, the law has specific guidelines…
39 (con’t) you shall not compel him to serve as a slave.
lo ta’avod bo avodat aved – “no shall you compel in him to serve as a bondservant.” These words follow after verses 35-38 where the Israelite has already been instructed to aid and assist one who has become muk, or poor. There should have already been an effort to stem his poverty, including loans without interest of any kind. Nothing more than what was given – be it money or goods – was to be expected in return.
Now, this impoverished person, who obviously couldn’t even pay back the principle, is obliged to sell himself to simply survive. The Lord specifically commands that if it is an Israelite, he is not to be taken on as a bondservant, meaning a slave or a servant who works for nothing. The onus is on the richer of the two. If he fails to act as the law requires, then who is it who is out of favor with God? Wealth is not a protection for the wealthy because of God’s favor, it is a responsibility intended for the poor, upon whom God favors.
As the Pulpit Commentary says about this state, “All alike, master and bondsman, were the slaves of God, and therefore not only were they, so far, on an equality one with another, but the master would be encroaching on the right of God if he claimed God’s slaves for his own inalienably.”
The hired servant’s rights have already been outlined, such as the Lord instructing the people to not withhold the wages of a hired servant. The sojourner’s protections have likewise been detailed. The Lord expected the treatment of such to be exemplary by the covenant people. In like manner, the bonded Hebrew was to also be treated. He was to be cared for, rather than manipulated. He was to be recompensed for his labors, not subjugated and oppressed. In this, the scholar Oehler rightly states that, “Through this principle slavery was completely abolished, so far as the people of the theocracy were concerned.”
40 (con’t) and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee.
Those who attack and challenge the Bible at every word come to these words and claim the Bible contradicts itself. It has already been seen in Exodus 21:2 that a Hebrew servant was to be released after six years of service. This is repeated in Deuteronomy 15. However, this verse says that he shall serve until the Year of Jubilee, an occurrence only once every fiftieth year. There is no contradiction at all here.
A bonded Hebrew could serve no more than six years, ever. If the Year of Jubilee occurred before that, he was to be released, even if it was but one year. The Year of Jubilee, which is the highlight of this chapter, was to take precedence over all other such laws. Total freedom was to be proclaimed, and total freedom was to be given, regardless of any other set times. The land was to revert to its original owners. It would thus require the care of that owner, even if he were serving as a bonded servant. With the reacquisition of his land, he would then be able to work towards the future on an even level with every other person in the society.
The family of the bonded Hebrew was his, and could not be deprived him. However, Exodus 21 clarifies this law. If the master gave him a wife during his time of servitude, she was not to go out with him, and any children born to the union were likewise not to go out with him. To understand why this was, you can refer back to that sermon. It is just, fair, and proper when rightly considered.
In that passage, the bonded Hebrew could renounce his right to freedom and remain a permanently bonded servant. As a sign of this allegiance to his master, he was to be brought to the judges, and then taken to a door or doorpost and the master was to pierce his ear with an awl. In that act, he was bonded forever. The year of Jubilee would not override this sign of allegiance. Every detail of that points to Christ. If you don’t remember it, go brush up. Other than that exception, however…
41 (con’t) He shall return to the possession of his fathers.
In sh’nat ha’yobel, or “Year the Jubilee,” the bonded Hebrew was to be released, and he was to be granted full rights, including his father’s land, once again. No government law, no edict of man, and no other arrangement under the Mosaic law could override this.
This verse corresponds directly to verse 23 which said, “The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine.” These two verses form a link and are clues to the intent of the entire passage. The land is the Lord’s, and therefore it could not be considered as a weapon against another Hebrew. Likewise, the people were the Lord’s, and therefore they could not be mistreated. He delivered all of Israel, and therefore all of Israel was on an equal footing in His eyes. In this Adam Clarke rightly states, “It was in being his servants, and devoted to his work, that both their religious and political service consisted. And although their political liberty might be lost, they knew that their spiritual liberty never could be forfeited except by an utter alienation from God.” Therefore…
Here, a word is given that has not been seen since the first chapter of the Bible, radah, or rule. It comes from a root meaning “to tread down.” Thus it is to subjugate another. Man was given dominion over all the fish, birds, and land creatures. He is also, to a point, given dominion over other men. But the Lord specifically says that it is not to be with perek, or rigor.
This is the same word seen only so far in Exodus 1. There it said that the Egyptians ruled over the people of Israel with perek, or rigor. As Egypt is symbolic of the world of sin, and thus bondage to the devil, we are being asked to look deeper than just a surface mistreatment of one Hebrew over another.
In what should point us to the Lord Himself, this word, perek, is the root of the word paroketh, meaning the veil which hung between the holy place and the most holy place. The veil thus signified that on one side there is cruelty and rigor of life, and on the other side there is peace with God. The veil was that point of division. That veil is the body of Christ which was torn for our transgressions. In His redemptive act, the rigor of His earthly life was fulfilled. Because of this, no servant of His was to be treated in that way. He took upon Himself what we are to be exempted from.
43 (con’t) but you shall fear your God.
To fear God is to respect His position as Sovereign, and to acknowledge both His work for the people with gratitude, and His right to judge the people with justice. Considering the picture of the veil signifying the rigor which is prohibited to be laid upon the bonded Hebrew because Christ has taken that from us, the words of Ephesians 6 show that the precept of verse 43 only looked forward to Christ and His work –
“Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
Permanent slaves could be obtained from the surrounding nations. This could be through regular transactions, conquering them in war, and the like. These would not be released after a set time, nor even in the Year of Jubilee. Instead, they became a part of the property of the Hebrew owner. The term, “the nations that are around you” excludes any of the nations who were devoted to destruction who are named in Deuteronomy 20:16-18, with the reason for their being destroyed. The Lord had been patient with the inhabitants of Canaan for 400 years, their wickedness had reached its fullness, and they were to be destroyed.
However, in the conquest of Canaan, some of those devoted to destruction did become slaves of the Israelites anyway. The most noted example is that of Joshua 9 concerning the Gibeonites.
The toshav, or stranger, among Israel would be someone who had taken up residence in the land. They were among the Hebrew people, and they had submitted to various requirements, but had not been circumcised or embraced the faith of Israel. They could be bought and sold as property, with no chance of release unlike the bonded Hebrews. However, if they were bought as slaves, they were then required to be circumcised according to the law given to Abraham in Genesis 17 which said –
“…every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.” Genesis 17:12, 13
And so in a unique way, the slaves of the Hebrews were given this unique sign as a way of identifying them permanently with the covenant people.
The purpose of these words is to show, without any debate, that these non-Hebrews were not provided with the rights of the Jubilee. Instead, they were permanent possessions of the Hebrews, even to bequeathing them as an inheritance to the next generation. Their status as slaves was permanent.
Within this seemingly unfair standard, there are still provisions for the slaves, including freedom itself. The slaves were to be treated without excessive force. If this was violated, they could demand their freedom. In Exodus 21 it said –
“If a man strikes the eye of his male or female servant, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for the sake of his eye. 27 And if he knocks out the tooth of his male or female servant, he shall let him go free for the sake of his tooth.” Exodus 21:26, 27
Further, it is implied in Exodus 12 that if any person were to assume the requirements of joining the people of Israel, they were to be treated henceforth as natives of the land. This must apply to the slave as well as the free man. Great allowances for these slaves are seen, and are made explicit in the law itself.
46 (con’t) But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.
These words seem to imply that a non-Israelite could be ruled over with rigor, but we have seen that this went only so far, and no further. And more, the same words, radah and perek, of verse 43 are seen in this verse. We are being shown pictures of the Hebrew’s rights and privileges that are reflective of the rights and privileges of those who have been redeemed by Christ. He is our Sovereign and the One who has dominion over us. We have been brought out of bondage to sin, and we are given an exalted status because of it.
These people whom you see, each is My servant
Whom I brought out of Egypt the land
And so to My word concerning them, you shall be observant
Yes, you shall pay heed and understand
It is I who have redeemed, and I to whom they belong
With rigor you shall not over them rule
You shall not mistreat them, nor do them wrong
Surely over them you shall be kind, never shall you misrule
And on the Year of Jubilee
There shall be a release, final and forevermore
On that day, the riches of heaven you shall see
When at last you are conducted through heaven’s door
II. Israelites as Slaves (verses 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,
Every possible case of servitude is covered in the law, including what is now proposed. The Hebrew here is idiomatic. It literally says, “And if becomes sufficient the hand of a foreigner settled among you, and becomes poor your brother with him.” There is then the sense of the one reaching up to wealth while the Israelite becomes low and depressed.
In such a case, the Israelite might decide to sell himself off to this non-Israelite, figuring his lot will be better under the stranger’s wealth than he will be in his own poverty. Or, he may even sell himself off to someone in the foreigner’s family. The word used is found only here in Scripture, eqer, or literally, an offshoot. In this case it is a non-Israelite related to another non-native in the land. He has rooted himself in the land, and possibly even among the people of God, having been incorporated into the commonwealth. Regardless of the status of the buyer, if a native Israelite were to take this course of action and sell himself off, then…
Regardless as to what the non-native desired in this matter, or even his status in regards to the Israelites, if he dwelt in the land, he had no say in this law. The law of a non-Israelite being sold to an Israelite is reversed here. The Israelite slave, like the land of original possession in Israel, was always redeemable. The Lord ultimately is the Owner of both, and therefore, there was no authority higher than the law which covers such redemption.
In this is seen the continued germination of the idea of what Messiah would come to do. Israel had been redeemed. They belonged to the Lord, but they could be sold off temporarily. However, it was never a permanent arrangement. The people could be redeemed at anytime by a redeemer. And even if that did not occur, the once-redeemed Israelite was to still be given total freedom in the Year of Jubilee.
This forms a picture of the absolute and eternal salvation found in Christ. We may be sold off to whatever possesses us, be it drugs or some other addiction, but there is no time that we cannot be bought back from that. And further, even if we are not bought back, in what is the true Jubilee, we shall be forever set free in our final release in Christ. The brother ere in this verse points directly to Christ Jesus where in Hebrews 2:11, it says, He is not ashamed to call us brothers.
The temporary ownership of our bodies by the world cannot negate the eternal ownership of our souls in Christ. Because Christ assumed a human nature, we are as brothers in humanity to Him, thus the brother is mentioned first as a possible redeemer. For now, and in the immediate context, any Israelite could be redeemed by his brother…
The brother has already been mentioned, but then it curiously goes to the uncle in this verse. The Hebrew word for “uncle” is dod, literally meaning “beloved.” Then it says ben dodo, or “son of his uncle.” The letters used here form an anagram of ben David, or “Son of David.” Thus, we have hidden references to Messiah.
Christ is called the Beloved by Paul in Ephesians 1:6, in a passage where he speaks in detail of our redemption in Christ, thus connecting Him to one who can redeem here in Leviticus. He is also called the Son of David countless times in the gospels and epistles. In this, Christ Jesus is again the Redeemer. He is the Son of David, descending from Judah. He is the One who is qualified to provide the eternal redemption of the people of God. As John Gill notes –
“…they through the fall, and in a state of nature, are become poor and helpless, and in a spiritual sense have neither bread to eat, nor clothes to wear, nor money to buy either; and are in debt, owe ten thousand talents, and have nothing to pay, and so are brought into bondage to sin, Satan, and the law; nor can they redeem themselves from these by power or price; nor can a brother, or the nearest relation redeem them, or give to God a ransom for them; none but Christ could do this for them, who through his incarnation, whereby he became of the same nature, of the same flesh and blood with them, and in all things like unto them, is their ‘goel’, and so their Redeemer, and has obtained eternal redemption for them, not with silver and gold, but by his own precious blood.” John Gill
49 (con’t) or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him;
The Hebrew uses two words which essentially both mean “flesh.” It speaks of anyone who is mi’sheer besaro, or “from flesh of his flesh.” Although nearly synonyms, the first is flesh as in nearness – “I am of the same flesh as my father.” The second is flesh in substance – “We are all made of human flesh.” The catchall phrase here again speaks of Christ, who took on the substance of humanity, and likewise through that act also came into a family nearness with us in order to redeem us. And finally there is one more option for this Hebrew slave…
49 (con’t) or if he is able he may redeem himself.
The question is, how could a person so poor that he had to offer himself as a slave in the first place find sufficiency at hand to redeem himself? The answer is certainly, “Through an inheritance.” Therefore, the person hasn’t directly redeemed himself, but it has happened through a granted inheritance. This again looks to the work of Christ. Paul in Ephesians 1 carefully writes out what is the inheritance of the saints. In particular, he says of Christ, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (v. 11). It is Christ who works, and it is because of His works that we can receive the inheritance. The law, again, has pointed us to a greater spiritual truth for the redeemed of the Lord in Christ.
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.
What we have here is a calculation comparable to the redemption of property in verses 15 & 16. As the sale and redemption of the land is based not on the actual land, but on the number of crops available until the Jubilee, so the sale and redemption of an Israelite is based not on his person, but on his work and productivity. This does not take into account any speculation. For example, one cannot say, “Hey our brother here is 62 years old, and the Jubilee is 40 years away. We will pay only until the average age of death which is 70, and so we will pay you for 8 years.”
Instead, the payment is made solely based on the year of Jubilee, regardless of any extenuating circumstances. The favor of the deal goes to the owner of the slave, giving the greatest regard that it was handled in a perfectly fair manner.
And isn’t this what has happened in our redemption? Christ now possesses us. He has given us the guarantee of that redemption in the sealing of the Spirit. And yet, the payment rendered for our redemption, the blood of Christ, was the full amount required, meaning even to His death, to carry us through until the final time of release. We are not partially redeemed, but fully redeemed. No further claim can be laid upon us ever again. So much for “loss of salvation.” This continues to be explained…
The calculation is given in a standard form. If he sold himself for thirty pieces of keseph, or silver, and there were 20 years until the Jubilee when he did so, then if he is to be redeemed after 10 years, the master was to be paid fifteen pieces of keseph. More years till the Jubilee would mean a higher proportion to be paid, and less would mean a smaller proportion. This is seen in the next words…
Everything is based on the original sale, and the years until the Jubilee. That is the entire basis for redemption. Nothing is said here, however, concerning seventh-year Sabbath years. As a slave is not limited to agricultural work, one would logically not deduct those years which are deducted for land-rest each seventh year in the sale of property.
Further, nothing is said about the slave being released after six years, which would be the case if he had sold himself to another Israelite. That law of Exodus 21 does not apply to foreign masters, and thus it would be a very strong inducement for an Israelite to sell himself not to an outsider, but to another Israelite. The entire tenor of these laws is given to avoid, as much as possible, becoming entangled with non-Israelites in such matters.
What this means is that he is to be reckoned as a servant who could obtain his freedom at any time, and that his time of bondage was for a specified time, even if not sooner. He was never to be counted as a personal, permanent slave whom he could mistreat at will. And to ensure that this precept was held as absolute…
53 (con’t) and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight.
The people of Israel were to individually keep watch over such an arrangement, carefully observing that the sacred care of one Israelite over another was not violated by a foreigner over an Israelite. The same high standard of care for him was to be maintained regardless as to whom he had sold himself to. This was a specific obligation, carefully recorded to avoid any chance of it being dismissed by the people.
This is now the last time that this word, perek, or rigor, will be seen until the book of Ezekiel where it will be seen just once more. As the Israelite had been redeemed by the Lord, the cruelty which the Lord would face for man’s full redemption is to be excluded from the treatment of the enslaved Israelite. The Lord took upon Himself what He will not allow in those He has redeemed in the process.
The word “years” is not in the original. It simply says, “And if he is not redeemed in these.” It is not referring only to the years before the Jubilee, but of the process of being redeemed by another as well. Regardless as to whether he was redeemed by man, or in a set period, he had been redeemed by the Lord, and he was to be released as the Lord’s property in the Year of Jubilee. And then it adds in a note of exceptional grace, “he and his children with him.”
The Israelite belonged to the Lord, and those who issued from him did as well. The master could not claim that because they may have been born in his house, that they were his property. Rather, they were by blood, and thus by right, children of Israel and therefore by extension children of the Lord.
In type, we are to look at these words, and we are to insert ourselves into what they merely picture. The Lord redeemed Israel out of Egypt; Christ Jesus redeemed us out of the bondage of sin and the yoke of the devil. In this, we belong to Christ, and we are now His servants. He did the work, we are to be obedient to the calling. To mistreat another Christian is a self-defeating prospect.
The Lord has given us our instructions, and to not pay heed is to only violate His word, and to grieve His Spirit. Paul explains this for us in Ephesians –
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:30-32
As with Israel, so with the church. And the reason for these things centers on one over-arching concept…
*55 (fin) I am the Lord your God.
ani Yehovah elohekem – “I am Yehovah your God.” The Lord proclaims His name and position. In essence, what we are being told with these words is, “I am the self-existent Creator, and I am your Redeemer. You are my possession, and I am Your God. I am Yehovah your God; you are My redeemed. Treat one another well, watch out for one another, and do so with zeal as you await the final blast of the trumpet on that great day of Jubilee.”
In the final analysis of what has been seen in Leviticus 25, the highest and greatest significance of the Year of Jubilee is to be found in the restoration of all things which Peter refers to in Acts 3. It is the restoration of the kingdom of God which has been, through man’s disobedience and fall, left unrealized to this day. Israel’s fifty-year Jubilee was a call to restore to what was originally given, to level the playing field, to encourage and lift up the downtrodden, to free the captive, and to reflect that which was originally established and blessed.
We live now in anticipation of what that only pictured. We have been redeemed from spiritual Egypt, and all things have been restored in guarantee, but not yet in reality. Eden was lost, but in Christ it is, and it shall be, found. Our bodies grow old and die, but they shall be remade to last forever. Our wealth can be diminished or lost, but eternal gain lies just ahead. Brothers and sisters in Christ are held captive, but they shall be released. God fellowshipped with man, and soon enough He will do so again.
The Kingdom of God and of His Christ is prepared, the table is set, and the final day of Jubilee is just around the corner. Let us not be discouraged with the temporary woes we face, but let us rejoice and exult in the magnificent guarantee that we hope for. Christ has come among us, and through His work, our redemption is secured. Let the trumpet sound loudly, and let the people proclaim liberty throughout the land. May it be so, and may it be soon.
Closing Verse: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Isaiah 61:1, 2
Next Week: Leviticus 26:1-13 Good things will come. They are written down, so no need for guessings… (Promised Blessings) (49th Leviticus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
Of Masters and Slaves
‘And if one of your brethren who dwells
By you becomes poor, his riches he does not preserve
And sells himself to you
You shall not compel him as a slave to serve
As a hired servant and a sojourner with you he shall be
And shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee
And then he shall depart from you
He and his children with him as well
And shall return to his own family
He shall return to the possession of his fathers; so to you I tell
For they are My servants
Whom I brought out of Egypt the land
They shall not be sold as slaves
In this you shall pay heed and understand
You shall not with rigor over him rule
But you shall fear your God; to him you shall not be cruel
And as for your male and female slaves
Whom you may have, this I will not deny
From the nations that are around you
From them you may male and female slaves buy
Moreover you may buy the children
Of the strangers who dwell among you, this is allowed to be
And their families who are with you, which they beget in your land
And they shall become your property
And you may take them as an inheritance
For your children after you, it may be this way
To inherit them as a possession
They shall be your permanent slaves, as I tell you today
But regarding your brethren
The children of Israel
You shall not rule over one another with rigor
In tender care of them you shall dwell
‘Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich
And one of your brethren who dwells by him, so you construe
Becomes poor, and sells himself
To the stranger or sojourner close to you
Or to a member of the stranger’s family
After he is sold he may be again redeemed
One of his brothers may redeem him
If in his eyes he is esteemed
Or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him
Or anyone who is to him near of kin
In his family may redeem him
Or if he is able he may redeem himself again
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 for him according to the time of a hired servant
In this matter all shall be observant
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 on his redemption day
And if there remain but a few years
Until the Year of Jubilee, on that day
Then he shall reckon with him
And according to his years the price of his redemption him he shall repay
He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, as is right
And he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight
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
For the children of Israel are servants to Me
They are My servants whom I brought out of Egypt the land
I am the Lord your God, and so these things you shall understand
Heavenly Father, through Christ we have been redeemed
We are Your possession, and to You we belong
Our times of bondage now are to be lightly esteemed
As we sing in our hearts our final redemption song
Restoration is sure to come, and all will be restored
No longer will access to heaven be inhibited
The truth of this is recorded in Your word
And in the life of Christ, this certainty is exhibited
And so, our King, we give joyful shouts to You
As we await the trumpet blast, to receive our heavenly due
Hallelujah, we shall say it once again!
Hallelujah and Amen…