How many times have you gotten what you deserved? And how many times have you not gotten what you deserved? In the second question, that could mean not getting bad if you earned it with an evil deed, or not getting good you felt was coming to you. In all truth, this world is not fair. Innocent become victims, and criminals seem to get away with terrible acts. But in God’s economy, grace pays the way for many of us to reap benefits we have neither earned nor deserved. He paid the price for evil, so we could reap the same pay as if we had lived our lives sowing nothing but good.
In today’s reading from Leviticus 25:1 through Leviticus 25:13, we begin a new portion. Parashah 32 is titled B’har which means “On Mount.” In today’s part of the portion, God instructs Israel in giving their fields a sabbath rest. Every seventh year, He tells them not to plant anything, and He tells them not to harvest anything. Everything in the field is still available for their food, so they can gather it for meals, but they are not to fully harvest it.
After seven of these resting times in the fields, that is after 49 years, the fiftieth year is considered a year of jubilee, and it is another year of complete rest for the field. The year of jubilee is a year when everything and everyone is to celebrate freedom, and every person and animal will eat from whatever crops continue to grow in the untended fields and vineyards. The year begins with a blast of the shofar on Yom Kippur of that fiftieth year.
It’s not late enough in the year yet for me to tell what my untended garden will yield, but last year–our first year in our new home, we grew lots of tiny tomatoes that we didn’t plant. I called the old owner to ask if she planted them, and she said she did not. She informed us they were called “volunteer tomatoes,” and told us how blessed we were to have them come up on their own.
We read in the words of Messiah Yeshua that instead of worrying about our provisions, we should rest in Our Creator, Yahveh, and trust that He has it all in His hands. Luke 12:27-28 (NLT) puts it this way…
27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
In God’s economy of grace and mercy, we are promised provision by His hand, and we are promised a prize in His kingdom just by letting go of our sin and trusting Him to guide and direct our lives. No other boss tells us that all we have to do is commit our loyalty to the company, and we’ll receive a paycheck, but God gives us a paycheck that He Himself earned simply because He loves us and wants to share eternity with us. We can praise Him for our wonderful provisions on this earth, but we can rejoice even more greatly in the provisions He has prepared for us where we will reap that we could never do enough good works to earn.
I have a favorite old song by Joel Hemphill called Consider The Lilies. This one is performed by Charlotte Richie with backup by singers from The Isaacs and The Martins. Enjoy!
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