I found myself contemplating the Sabbath Year, the regulation that the land is to lay fallow every 7th year. Israelites may eat what the land produces, but are not to tend, cultivate or reap during that year. They are just to eat what comes up naturally. Here is how Moses explains it.
The LORD said to Moses at
I thought, ‘Oh, my, what a test of faith’. It may be a gift for the land, a way for the land to replenish nutrients and ‘rest’. But what a test of faith for Israelites. Basically they were farmers and herders. Most small farm farmers I know today, like farmers throughout the millennia, are subsistence farmers. They live primarily off what is grown. There may be some storage for bad years and bumper crops with wonderful excess but crop farming is no way to amass a fortune.
So, the idea that every 7th year you let the land produce what it will produce without any enhancement, furrowing, sowing, fertilizing, tending and reaping is a test of faith. Will God call from the land what I need for my family to live and for me to plant in the year to come?
So many of the laws have a faith producing element. This one certainly does.
Could I do that?
To give this law a more modern feel: If I owned a business could I cease all advertising, networking, solicitation and seeking of new business in every way every 7th year and trust that God will bring my way the clients I need to live??? That would take FAITH!
Certainly the people of Moses’ day wondered about this and a few verse later Moses, speaking for God, answers that question:
“ ‘Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. You may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?” I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in (18-22).
God’s answer to a very human concern, “I will provide…
Turning to my life, very different than
Do I live in a manner that models I trust in Jesus! Do I? (Do you?)
I don’t own a business, I have a salary… so do I give to God’s church and God-honoring causes with a fervor that says I Trust in God? Do I? (Do you?)
Oh, God, my desire is to live a life that honors, trusts and leaves a simple example for others… I trust You with my life and I live so that true life in Your name is spread throughout all this world. Amen and Amen.