“In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property. If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other. You are to buy from your own people on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee…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.” -Leviticus 25:13-16, bits and pieces.
I was reading this the other morning in my devotibible (how handy that the devotions are filled in…). The blurb that followed this section focused on freedom and knowing that freedom is coming, tying that in to the price paid by Christ. Good stuff, I assure you, I’m glad to be free “from the bondage of sin.” Don’t get me wrong. But somehow, and it could be that I’m just too much of a reader, I don’t think that’s necessarily what this passage was about. Let me re-phrase that- I don’t think the original hearers of this wonderful, amazing message of Jubilee heard about freedom from sin. And I say that because of verse 23, [God speaking here:]
“The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers.”
Call me crazy, and I probably am for many other reasons, i think God is serious about calling us to think about how we buy and sell. I think maybe, just maybe, God had some inkling that we humans would struggle with possessiveness and ownership and wanting more “stuff.” He saw the moving Finding Nemo with the “mine mine mine” birds.
Can I remark how amazing God is to have the foresight to provide us a way out? I mean, he knows that over the traverse of time we’d get ourselves further into debt or seek after buying more and more stuff, land being the ultimate example. And instead of telling us what evil sinners we are, he just mandates a way out. He says, buy and sell as you might feel you need (read more of chapter 25 to get the details of selling the land or yourselves because of financial hardships), but remember that it’s all on loan.
I wonder what life would be like if we realized that in another 50 years it all gets returned. That the house i live in is borrowed property, no matter whose name is on the mortgage. I wonder what it would be like for employers to realize that they’re buying the crop, not the land- and that the fruits of my labor is all that’s for sale, the land actually belongs to someone else. I wonder what it would be like if I realized that everything in my life- friends, family, education- is borrowed property and God, the owner of it all, is just blessing me by letting me enjoy.
The current status quo is like a friend loaning me their summer cottage for a vaca and then me trying to sell it off for profit. I can’t! I don’t even have true ownership.
I’m not sure how to begin making this a reality in my life, but if every 50 years God thinks its a good thing, then maybe it’s something I should look into. Because can you imagine what the world would be like if we all realized that it’s all just on loan?