Monday, September 01, 2008

My Sabbath Year

Leviticus 25:
1 The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 6 Whatever the land yields during the Sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your manservant and maidservant, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, 7 as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.

Tomorrow, September 2nd, will be the 7th anniversary of the day I gave my life to Christ. Since 7s seem to be important to God, I thought I’d see if there was anything that I could do during the next year that could honor God. Here are a few examples of ways that God uses the number 7.

  • When God created the world, He rested on the seventh day.
  • The seventh day of the week is called the Sabbath and on this day, you are to rest from all of your work.
  • In Leviticus, when a person was considered unclean, they were isolated for 7 days. After that point, they were examined to see if they could re-enter society.
  • God once said he would punish people seven times what they deserved if they continued to refuse to listen to Him or obey Him. Leviticus 26:18-35 (yikes!)
  • If you owe me anything, I’d advice you to contact me sometime in the next year, as Deuteronomy 15 says that at the end of every seven years, I am to cancel debts.
  • Slaves have the opportunity to be set free. If they want to stay, they may. But you have to at least offer them their freedom, along with a hefty portion of your flock, grain and wine. (Sounds right up my alley!)
  • Seven priests carried seven trumpets as the army marched around the city seven times right before Joshua was allowed to take Jackpot. I mean, Jericho. 777!
  • Often, God makes people wait 7 days or 7 years for something. Ezekiel 3:16 “At the end of seven days, the word of the LORD came to me”
  • In Matthew 18:22, Jesus tells us we are to forgive those who offend us not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
  • The seven seals of Revelation are opened by the Lamb who has 7 eyes, 7 horns and is the embodiment of 7 spirits. At the opening of the seventh seal, 7 angels play 7 trumpets. At the playing of the 7th trumpet, God’s glory is revealed. Then 7 angels will release 7 bowls of God’s wrath (i.e. Plagues!) on the earth.

As you can see, you are to rest and be refreshed on the 7th day of the week and during the 7th year. I've also got this feeling that maybe I’ve been unclean this whole time, and now I can finally rejoin society. :) I do feel like I really need to search myself to identify any areas of my life where I enslave or am enslaved to something so that I can set free or be set freed.

After 7 Sabbath years - that is after 49 years - I will have my Year of Jubilee. Don’t know if I’ll live to see that, but it sounds lovely.

Exodus 24:15-17 says:
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain

I gotta tell you, that verse excites me if there is any correlation to this next year for me. I don’t believe that God has kept Himself veiled from me for the past 6 years. I’ve been able to see Him despite the fog. But the thought of being called by God, allowing me to rest from all my searching for my purpose, sure does excite me.

Thank you God. I am yours.

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