The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying,  “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord. For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.  You shall not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. The Sabbath of the land shall provide food for you, for yourself and for your male and female slaves and for your hired worker and the sojourner who lives with you, 7 and for your cattle and for the wild animals that are in your land: all its yield shall be for food. Leviticus 25:1-7

I am always amazed at the Land Sabbath because everyone rested their land at the same time and yet, they still got food from it.

Have you ever had a garden? Every now and then, I have a very busy season and am just not able to get my garden going but I am always surprised by all of the volunteers that come up on their own and grow and give fruit. This always reminds me that when we seek to follow the Father by working and serving Him, He provides even during a time of rest. Such an amazing blessing!

In these verses we learn that the Father gave the Israelites instructions for their fields. Let’s look at those verses.

Leviticus 25:2-7
“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord. For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. You shall not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. The Sabbath of the land shall provide food for you, for yourself and for your male and female slaves and for your hired worker and the sojourner who lives with you, and for your cattle and for the wild animals that are in your land: all its yield shall be for food.

So what were the Israelites supposed to do when they came into the land?
1. Sow their fields for 6 years
2. Prune their vineyards and gather its fruits for 6 years
3. Allow the land and the vineyards to rest for 1 year.

Should we be doing this today?

While it is always good to let your land rest for a year when you are able, we can see that this is one of those commands that applies “when we live in the land” so there isn’t any pressure about doing this. Details matter to the Father and sometimes it is just as important to know why we are unable to follow a command at this time, as it is to know why we can.

We should definitely be doing everything we are able but when we see things that are qualified by “in the land”, “with a priest,” or “at the temple”, it is important to recognize that those are the qualifiers for following that commandment.

So while we can definitely let our land rest no matter where we live, this commandment is very specific to living in the land.

Something else to consider is that the 7th year was counted from the time they entered the land so everyone was on the same time frame. And even though, many observe what is called the Shmita year (Land Sabbath), we don’t actually know the true land Sabbath year because there is an almost 200 year discrepancy in the counting of the years.

This is one of those things I put in my back pocket because I know that when the Messiah returns, He will sort it all out for us. I hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

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Aliisa DeSalvo
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