Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The Sabbath is to remind us of the principle of grace and rest. Part 4.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Honoring the Sabbath or resting daily in the promises and the doctrines of God brings in divine blessings to the believer.

Point 6. The Sabbatical Year of Israel,
EXO 23:10-11; LEV 25:3-4, LEV 26:33-37.

The Sabbatical years provided a form of regular debt release to stabilize social and economic gaps that naturally develop in society.

According to the Bible, during the seventh year all land had to be left untilled and unplanted, and debts from close neighbors that had been unpaid during the previous six years were to be cancelled.

1. The environmental concerns that overuse of the land would make it unusable.
2. Some of the commands covered debt concerns. Because of drought and other cyclical crop failures, the poor needed to be allowed to start over and not languish in poverty.
3. Land ownership and management concerns affected families in inter-generational settings.

The year was intended to be not simply a year of leisure, but also one of religious instruction and exercises.

PRO 28:1a The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,

This was the big test of supergrace or what we would call the test of faith-rest.

Having followed so well the laws of divine establishment, and having functioned under the P.M.A. of B.D., they now took a break on the seventh year to exercise their capacity for life.

The failure of the Jews to observe the sabbatical year was the basis for determining how long they would stay out under the fifth cycle of discipline.

From the Exodus until the first administration of the fifth cycle of discipline to the southern kingdom, they had accumulated 490 years in which they had not observed even one sabbatical year as a nation.

Now God, in His great sense of humor, told the southern kingdom in 586 BC. that since they had missed seventy sabbatical years, therefore He would give them those seventy years in slavery.

The first administration of the fifth cycle of discipline lasted for seventy years, LEV 26:33-36; 2CH 36:20-21 cf.DAN 9:2; JER 25:11-12; JER 29:10.

For 6 years they planted as much as they wanted to and operated under the principle of free enterprise. But on the 7th year they were to stop.

God said that if they would stop on the 7th year and make a memorial to grace, that God in His grace would provide whatever they needed.

They went on and on and on until finally in a period of 490 years in Jewish history they had missed 70 sabbath years (70 x 7 = 490).

ISA 29:24 “And those who err in mind will know the truth, And those who criticize will accept instruction.”

In 538 B.C., Daniel was reading this prediction and knew that the 70 years of the Babylonian captivity would end within 2 years, in 536 B.C.
(606 B.C. – 536 B.C.)

Under the agricultural economy of Israel each 7th year they were to stop all work and live off the profits of the 6 years production.

It was a test of their faith-rest; could they trust God to provide in the 7th year?

God’s people will learn obedience one way or another.

Point 7. The year of Jubilee, LEV 25:8ff.

After forty-nine years (in which there were seven sabbatical years), the fiftieth year was called the year of Jubilee; it was a sabbath year also. During the year of Jubilee, all the real estate in the land went back to its original owners, all the businesses went back to their original owners; everything reverted back to how it was in year one.

All slaves were to be freed, and whatever was their portion of land allotted to them by tribe and by the system was given back to them.

1TI 6:6-8 But living the spiritual life keeps on being a great means of prosperity when accompanied by contentment or capacity for life. For we have brought not even one thing into this world; it is obvious that we cannot take anything out of it either.

This just proves the point of history, that no matter what you have in equal distribution, certain ones will gain most of the pie, and certain ones will again fall into slavery. Equality guarantees inequality.

He gave them what was called the year of Jubilee (yobel).
Jubilee meant the blast.

On the 50th year all the real estate in the land went back or was to be returned to its original owners. On the 50th year everything was to return to its original owners. All slaves were to be freed.

It was a “rest ritual” but it was not meaningful unless you had doctrine in the soul to appreciate it.

The Jews blew or rejected their sabbath days, their sabbath years, and they blew off and rejected their year of Jubilee when it came out.

As a result their total rejection of the sabbath led to grace disorientation, just like a total rejection of rest leads to grace disorientation.

They rejected the sabbath because they rejected doctrine and they rejected grace.

Point 8. Profaning the Sabbath was Associated with Idolatry and the Apostasy of the Jews, EZE 23:37-39.
EZE 23:38 “Again, they have done this to Me: they have defiled My sanctuary on the same day and have profaned My sabbaths.”

Point 9. Sabbath Violation Occurred even after the Restoration or the Jews were Restored Back to Their Promise Land, NEH 13:15-21.

JER 17:21 Thus says the Lord, “Take heed for yourselves, and do not carry any load on the sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem.”

The Jews had already promised not to do business with the Gentiles on the Sabbath Day in NEH 10:31.

The child of God must choose spiritual wealth rather than material wealth and claim the promise of MAT 6:33.

Whoever wrote Psa 119 made it clear that he chose God’s Word rather than money,
PSA 119:14,72,127,162.
King Saul made the wrong choice; he chose materialism, 1Sa 15, and so did Achan, Jos 7, and Demas, 2TI 4:10.

This was an illustration that no matter how good God treated His people, they still rebelled against Him.

REV 20:8….the number of people who follow Satan are like the sand of the seashore.

1. He rebuked the Jews who were working and selling on the Sabbath and made them stop, NEH 13:15.
2. He rebuked the nobles for allowing business on the Sabbath Day, reminding them that the nation’s violation of the Sabbath was one cause for their captivity, NEH 13:16-18; JER 17:21-27.
3. His third step was a very practical one: He ordered the city gates shut on the Sabbath Day.

But Sunday is a special day to God’s people because it commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead as well as the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

1CO 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.

ROM 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit,

PRO 3:9-10 Honor the Lord from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.

EXO 23:19 “You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God.”

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