Sunday, May 1, 2022

God's Laws: Sabbatical Year

Exodus Chapter 23
9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
10 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:
11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.
12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

In verse 9, God is repeating the command that we should be kind to people who immigrate to our country. You know the old saying, "You catch more flies with honey". Being kind and gracious to strangers allows us the opportunity to witness to them in such a way that they are open to hearing our testimony with no malice. You can't beat the Bible over people's heads, but you can gently nudge them into reading it. You don't lead people to true salvation by making threats and turning them away when they are in need.

Again, this is NOT saying we should allow everyone to invade our country illegally. It simply means that once they have followed the proper channels to get here, then they should be welcomed with open arms.

God tells us to work our lands for six years, and then to give our lands rest for a year. Today, most of us are not farmers and ranchers. It is not how we make our living. And, God wants us to honor Him with our work. Therefore, if you own a business, you should shut it down every seventh year to take a break and do something else. If you work at a job, you should take a leave of absence every seventh year to focus on something else. After the seventh year is up, you can go back to it, if it is what you are lead to do.

To put this in better perspective, God is telling us, once again, to work six days and rest one, that we can be refreshed.

Here is a great read concerning letting the land rest: Why Soil Needs As Much Rest As We Do

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