Advent Meditation for Kids - Day 11 - God's Jubilee
Did any of what we just read make sense to you? It might have seemed kind of boring. But once you understand what it's saying it's really, really amazing.
10 'You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 'You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee ; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. 12 'For it is a jubilee ; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field. 13 'On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property. 14 'If you make a sale, moreover, to your friend or buy from your friend's hand, you shall not wrong one another. 15 'Corresponding to the number of years after the jubilee, you shall buy from your friend ; he is to sell to you according to the number of years of crops. 16 'In proportion to the extent of the years you shall increase its price, and in proportion to the fewness of the years you shall diminish its price, for it is a number of crops he is selling to you. 17 'So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God ; for I am the LORD your God. 18 'You shall thus observe My statutes and keep My judgments, so as to carry them out, that you may live securely on the land. 19 'Then the land will yield its produce, so that you can eat your fill and live securely on it. 20 'But if you say, "What are we going to eat on the seventh year if we do not sow or gather in our crops ?" 21 then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years. 22 'When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crop, eating the old until the ninth year when its crop comes in.
23 'The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me. 24 'Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land. 25 'If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold. 26 'Or in case a man has no kinsman, but so recovers his means as to find sufficient for its redemption, 27 then he shall calculate the years since its sale and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and so return to his property. 28 'But if he has not found sufficient means to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hands of its purchaser until the year of jubilee ; but at the jubilee it shall revert, that he may return to his property. (Leviticus 25:10-28 NASB)
35 'Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 'Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you. 37 'You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain. 38 'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. 39 'If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave's service. 40 'He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner ; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. 41 'He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. 42 'For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt ; they are not to be sold in a slave sale. 43 'You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God. (Leviticus 25:35-43 NASB)
One of the the things that happens a lot in this world, is that some people have enough money or resources at the right time to own a lot of stuff, land, or factories, or things that have a lot of value, because people need them to survive. What happens is that those people who own everything can hire other people to work for them, and they get richer, and richer, while other people end up with less, and less. All over the world today you can see examples of really poor people living on land they don't own, paying so much of what they make to the person who does own the land they are farming, or the tools they need to work to make a living, or the place they need to go and work in, and they have to pay so much of what they make to the person who owns everything that they barely have enough for their family to eat and survive. The person who owns everything gets richer, and richer from other people's hard work, and those people get poorer and poorer because it is so hard for them to survive. They can't plan ahead or save anything for emergencies and so when someone gets sick or they need money they have to borrow it from someone else, and then sometimes that person makes them or one of their children work for them for free until they can pay back the money.
God told Israel to do things differently. He said that once every 50 years everything went back to the original owners. People who were working for someone else to pay off a debt got to go back to their families. And if you owed anyone a lot of money and couldn't pay it back your debt was cancelled.
Have you ever sold or lost something that was important to you? Would you like it if there was a way you could get it back and start over?
Doing it God's way makes it so that no one can really get to the point where they own everything and everyone works for them. The people who were having hard times, they get to start over again. They get everything back and they get a second chance.
Imagine if that were to happen today in your country. I bet you know at least one person, you may not know this about them, who owes a lot of money to someone else. A lot of people in the US have been having very hard times because they owed someone money and couldn't pay because times got hard. Lots of people have lost their houses, their jobs.
God wanted Israel to be a different sort of place. A place where they took care of each other and didn't get rich off of someone's hardship.
If someone runs out of money, they were to take care of them, to help them, to let them live with them and help them through hard times. God reminded them over and over that they all belonged to Him.
If someone is God's person, you should probably take care of them. And if the land you are using is God's land, and he's just letting you use it, then you should probably take care of it like he tells you to.
He tells them to even let the land rest. Every farmer today knows that you need to let soil rest every so often in order for it to be able to keep producing crops. The Israelites didn't know that. But if they obeyed God about letting the land rest they would have good soil for good crops anyway.
This was another way that Israel would be different from all the nations around it. It would be one more way that they shone the light of God's love and justice to the people who were paying attention. This is part of God's plan to bless all of the world.
Day 10 - How God Treats the Poor
Day 12 - How Rahab Becomes Part of God's Story