With three young daughters, it seems I always have a backseat driver. The commentary never ends.
Go faster. Why are you stopping. Why can’t you just go around this car. Why did you keep driving while that light was yellow. Why can’t you just go even though it’s red. Why do we even have to follow all these traffic rules?!
Traffic rules are beyond a child’s understanding. From their innocent perspective and limited backseat view, these rules often seem like mere suggestions.
As adults, we understand traffic laws aren’t put in place to be restrictive. Rather, to keep us safe.
Throughout Leviticus, we see certain laws set up for the Israelites. One particular law is meant to protect those who fall on hard times.
“But if he does not have sufficient means to recover it, then what he sold shall remain in the hand of the buyer until the year of jubilee. In the jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his property.”
Leviticus 25:28 ESV
Every seven years, God told the Israelites to let their land rest. No one was to harvest their crops or work their land. During this time, redemption was offered to those who couldn’t afford their property. Land owners who previously lost their land were given a chance to buy it back. If they still couldn’t afford it, family members were encouraged to help them.
Every fifty years, there was to be a year of Jubilee. During the Jubilee, everyone was to return to their original property, and all debts were to be forgiven.
The Jubilee was put into place to provide restoration throughout the land. Those fallen on hard times would have an opportunity for a second chance with life, and in society.
Just like with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Israelites disobeyed the rules God laid out for them. The rules seemed too restricting.
The rules God puts in place often seem too restricting, especially when we don’t understand them. Because of this, we have a history or disobeying what God asks of us.
Are God’s rules too restrictive? Or are they for our good?
How we answer this question will help us understand how we see God. If we view Him as limiting our rights, we will miss out on everything He offers us through His perfect love for us.
Since we have a history of disobedience, God gifted us with an ultimate plan of restoration.
There is a strong theme throughout the Bible of prophets calling for a Jubilee. The Jubilee meant for the Israelites was never carried out. However, Jesus is the promise of our ultimate redemption.
This is what Jesus proclaimed at the beginning of his ministry: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” Isaiah 61:1.
Jesus is announcing here that He is our ultimate Jubilee.
Through all of our disobedience, God still offers us a chance of redemption. What a beautiful offering we have been given.