My husband preached on this topic recently, and I found it interesting and worth sharing, with his permission. I’m just using excerpts, and I have edited when necessary.
The word jubilee is our English translation of a Hebrew word that refers to the blowing of a trumpet or ram’s horn called a shofar. The shofar was blow throughout Israel when there were important things happening. It was a call for the people to gather for announcements or for the major festival celebrations. One of the times the shofar was to be blown was at the beginning of a year of Jubilee.
While mankind was to earn its bread by the sweat of its brow after the expulsion from Eden, the Lord also understands the limitations our bodies face and so He required the observance of the Sabbath every 7 days. This was meant to be a time of rest and also a time of remembering God’s grace in the lives of his people. Rest was important, but even more so was the religious aspect of the day. One of the sins we find in the hearts of almost everyone is the sin of thinking that we are in charge of our own lives and responsible for the good things we have. Part of the reason the Lord calls us together on the Sabbath is so we can remember that every good thing that happens in life comes from Him. So the Sabbath has always had a meaning far more important than football games, roast beef dinners or afternoon naps. The Sabbath is our place of resting in the Lord.
God’s care for His Old Testament people included the welfare of the land which He had given to them as their home. So every 7 years there was to be a different Sabbath, a Sabbath for the land itself. The people were not allowed to sow seeds or reap the growth that come up naturally, that was to be left for the poor who could not amass a 2 year food supply over the preceding years. Someone who sought to follow the Law knew that they had to save and store grain for those times of Sabbath. Letting the land lie fallow allowed it to regain the ability to produce good crops. It also reminded the people that everything they needed for live was provided by God Himself.
To be continued ……