Monday, July 23, 2012

The Year of Jubilee




My sister Amy and husband Jim stopped by for lunch on their way from Texas to Virginia. I got a glorious assortment of lunch goodies from Fresh Market, and set out my best silver and even crystal water goblets. It isn't every day I get to see my sister! They could only stay for lunch and then had to head off for 6 more hours of driving.

We were discussing how naive I am, though I can't remember the specific context, when Amy said, "Did you know that gullible is the most commonly misused word? It is not in the dictionary. It has become commonly used, but it isn't in the dictionary."
"It's not?" I asked. I paused. I was CERTAIN it was.
"I don't believe you," I said, rising to go find a dictionary when I noticed Asherel laughing so hard but trying to hide it so that her face was purple.
"Oh," I said, sinking down. Once again, caught with the zipper on my brain down....

There are worse things than being gullible. Like picking on gullible people....But I must admit, all four of us were spitting our bourbon brownies out with our convulsive laughter. It is a wonder none of us choked. I love it when I get to see Amy. She brings Happy wherever she goes, and Jim is the perfect sidekick.

Speaking of gullible, I learned something in church today that I didn't know and found hard to swallow. I did know that Leviticus talks about a "year of Jubilee". On every 50th year, the Israelites were to celebrate the year of Jubilee, when all debts were forgiven, all prisoners set free, and everyone given a fresh and equal start. Being gullible, I had always assumed that the Israelites had followed that command. I began thinking of what that would look like, if we still did that today, when the pastor said, "It is not recorded anywhere that the Jews ever followed that, or ever celebrated the year of Jubilee...not even once."
What!?
If that is correct, the commandment was ignored and came to be considered not a command, but a prophecy. The year of Jubilee came to be thought of as a symbol, a foretaste of what would happen when the Messiah came, when our sins were forgiven, our debt paid by His atoning sacrifice, and we would be set free. Once we put our faith in the Messiah, and His salvation plan, we would no longer be imprisoned by our sin. Our spirits would be eternally released to enjoy the celebration of standing righteous before God. No more damnation, no more eternal punishment, and if all goes as I hope, no more being caught with the zipper on my brain down.

Leviticus 25:10-17 (NIV)
Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. [11] The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. [12] For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. [13] “ ‘In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property. [14] “ ‘If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other. [15] You are to buy from your own people on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee. And they are to sell to you on the basis of the number of years left for harvesting crops. [16] When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price, because what is really being sold to you is the number of crops. [17] Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God.




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