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Eight Jubilee Requirements
The Year of Jubilee was ordained of God to be time of restoration, rest, and rejoicing. The Jubilee Sabbath was designed to be the highest, most glorious, most anticipated of all the Old Testament Sabbaths. In the Year of Jubilee all the woes of the previous forty-nine years were undone, all debts were cancelled, all lost property was restored, and families were reunited. There was a complete reversal and renewal of life given to all in Israel who had, by any cause or circumstance, come into debt, lost their heritage, or been subjected to bondage. In the observance of the Year of Jubilee, God required eight specific things. In all these things, the Year of Jubilee was a picture of God’s great salvation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
1. Liberty was to be proclaimed throughout the land.
2. The exiles returned.
3. The captive were emancipated. — “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed!”
4. The debtor was set free and his debts cancelled.
5. Each family was to open its bosom to receive once more its long-lost members. — The Prodigal who had wasted his father’s substance came home.
6. Every man received his inheritance again. — Not one of God’s chosen, not one soul redeemed by Christ’s precious blood can ever, by any circumstance, be deprived of possessing forever his inheritance with the Son of God (Ephesians 1:3-14). The very law of God demands it.
7. Everyone in God’s Israel enjoyed a time of blessed rest, feasting upon the provisions of grace. — The sound of the trumpet was the welcome and soul-stirring signal for the captive to escape his prison, for the slave to cast off the chains of his bondage, for the manslayer to return to his home, for the ruined and poverty-stricken to rise to the possession of their forfeited inheritance. No sooner had the trumpet’s welcome sound been heard, than the mighty tide of blessing rose majestically, and sent its refreshing undulations into the most remote corners of Canaan’s happy land. Everyone in the land feasted upon God’s supernatural provisions of grace (Leviticus 25:18-22), and lacked nothing.
8. But there is one more thing that was required regarding the Year of Jubilee that is commonly overlooked. — Everyone in Israel was required to measure the value of all things in the prospect of that great day when the Year of Jubilee would come (vv. 14-17).
The Year of Jubilee reminded both buyer and seller that the land belonged to Jehovah, and was not to be sold. “The fruits” might be sold, but not the land. It all belonged to God. They were just temporary tenants. Moreover, the scale of prices was to be regulated by the Jubilee. All human contracts regarding land, trade, and money were torn up the moment the Jubilee trumpet was heard.
This teaches us a great lesson. If our hearts cherish the abiding hope of Christ’s return, we ought to hold all earthly things with a loose hand, valuing them altogether in the light of eternity (2 Corinthians 4:18-5:1; Philippians 4:4-7). Oh, may God give us grace to live every moment in the immediate prospect of eternity! If we could but live in the immediate prospect of eternity, valuing all things in the light of eternity, we would not oppress our brethren, but serve them, and use what the Lord puts in our hands to serve them and him.