Leviticus 25* The sabbath of rest for the land in the seventh year. (1-7)The jubilee of the fiftieth year, Oppression forbidden. (8-22)Redemption of the land and houses. (23-34) Compassion towardsthe poor. (35-38) Laws respecting bondmen, Oppression forbidden.(39-55)1-7 All labour was to cease in the seventh year, as much asdaily labour on the seventh day. These statues tell us to bewareof covetousness, for a man's life consists not in the abundanceof his possessions. We are to exercise willing dependence onGod's providence for our support; to consider ourselves theLord's tenants or stewards, and to use our possessionsaccordingly. This year of rest typified the spiritual rest whichall believers enter into through Christ. Through Him we areeased of the burden of wordly care and labour, both beingsanctified and sweetened to us; and we are enabled andencouraged to live by faith. 8-22 The word "jubilee" signifies a peculiarly animated soundof the silver trumpets. This sound was to be made on the eveningof the great day of atonement; for the proclamation of gospelliberty and salvation results from the sacrifice of theRedeemer. It was provided that the lands should not be sold awayfrom their families. They could only be disposed of, as it were,by leases till the year of jubilee, and then returned to theowner or his heir. This tended to preserve their tribes andfamilies distinct, till the coming of the Messiah. The libertyevery man was born to, if sold or forfeited, should return atthe year of jubilee. This was typical of redemption by Christfrom the slavery of sin and Satan, and of being brought again tothe liberty of the children of God. All bargains ought to bemade by this rule, "Ye shall not oppress one another," not takeadvantage of one another's ignorance or necessity, "but thoushalt fear thy God." The fear of God reigning in the heart,would restrain from doing wrong to our neighbour in word ordeed. Assurance was given that they should be great gainers, byobserving these years of rest. If we are careful to do our duty,we may trust God with our comfort. This was a miracle for anencouragement to all neither sowed or reaped. This was a miraclefor an encouragement to all God's people, in all ages, to trusthim in the way of duty. There is nothing lost by faith andself-denial in obedience. Some asked, What shall we eat theseventh year? Thus many Christians anticipate evils, questioningwhat they shall do, and fearing to proceed in the way of duty.But we have no right to anticipate evils, so as to distressourselves about them. To carnal minds we may appear to actabsurdly, but the path of duty is ever the path of safety. 23-34 If the land were not redeemed before the year of jubilee,it then returned to him that sold or mortgaged it. This was afigure of the free grace of God in Christ; by which, and not byany price or merit of our own, we are restored to the favour ofGod. Houses in walled cities were more the fruits of their ownindustry than land in the country, which was the direct gift ofGod's bounty; therefore if a man sold a house in a city, hemight redeem it only within a year after the sale. Thisencouraged strangers and proselytes to come and settle amongthem. 35-38 Poverty and decay are great grievances, and very common;the poor ye have always with you. Thou shalt relieve him; bysympathy, pitying the poor; by service, doing for them; and bysupply, giving to them according to their necessity, and thineability. Poor debtors must not be oppressed. Observe thearguments here used against extortion: "Fear thy God." Relievethe poor, "that they may live with thee;" for they may beserviceable to thee. The rich can as ill spare the poor, as thepoor can the rich. It becomes those that have received mercy toshow mercy. 39-55 A native Israelite, if sold for debt, or for a crime, wasto serve but six years, and to go out the seventh. If he soldhimself, through poverty, both his work and his usage must besuch as were fitting for a son of Abraham. Masters are requiredto give to their servants that which is just and equal, #Col4:1|. At the year of jubilee the servant should go out free, heand his children, and should return to his own family. Thistypified redemption from the service of sin and Satan, by thegrace of God in Christ, whose truth makes us free, #Joh 8:32|.We cannot ransom our fellow-sinners, but we may point out Christto them; while by his grace our lives may adorn his gospel,express our love, show our gratitude, and glorify his holy name.
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