The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the country you possess, you shall allow a redemption of the land.Leviticus 25:23-24
This little passage totally caught me off guard this morning in my reading. As you will recall, Leviticus was written by Moses as Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land after their exodus from slavery in Egypt. This occurred before they gave into fear and rejected God’s plan and were forced to wander in Numbers. They had a goal and were preparing for entry into Canaan. In Leviticus 25, God lays out the conditions for the seven-year Sabbath of the Land and the 50-year Jubilee, a magnificent tradition of rest, renewal, and grace.
Right in the midst of this explanation of the glorious standard God will have for Israel in their new Land, he reminds them: “you are strangers and sojourners with me.” This is surprising language! They are getting ready to settle in the Land which was promised to them from the time of Abraham! This is their birthright as a nation! And yet, even though they are inheriting the Land from a human sense, God does not want them to forget the fact that they are still simple tenants of the property of earth, which is His alone.
This humbles me. I love to catalogue and guard my possessions, my properties. It gives me a feeling of security and control to know what I have and where it is. But the Land Sabbath and the Jubilee are paradigms which remind Israel that all they have was given them—and indeed, is on loan—by God. It is no different for us. All our earthly possessions will pass away. The eternal possession matters most—and even that is a gift from our Heavenly Father!
The “Isolation Introspection” series started as an opportunity for me to encoruage members of our Bible Study with daily reflections from the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan during the 2020 “Stay at Home” mandate in Los Angeles. I’ve moved them here so that they can be shared easily, and perhaps benefit others. I hope you enjoy!