Week #2 Leviticus 25:1-7
Verse to memorize
“When you enter the land that I am giving to you, let the land too, keep a sabbath for the LORD”
The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai: Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land that I am giving to you, let the land, too, keep a sabbath for the LORD. For six years you may sow your field, and for six years prune your vineyard, gathering in their produce. But during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath of complete rest, a sabbath for the LORD, when you may neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. The aftergrowth of your harvest you shall not reap, nor shall you pick the grapes of your untrimmed vines. It shall be a year of rest for the land. While the land has its sabbath, all its produce will be food to eat for you yourself and for your male and female slave, for your laborer and the tenants who live with you, and likewise for your livestock and for the wild animals on your land.
1. In the Old Testament (also known as the Hebrew Bible) after the period of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the sons of Jacob were known as Israelites. Because of drought, they went to Egypt and eventually became slaves to Pharaoh. 400 years later, God called Moses to lead them out to “the promised land”. On the way, in Sinai, God spoke to Moses, giving him the Law or Torah, including the Book of Leviticus. Leviticus is a whole book of religious and civil law. In this week’s passage, God tells the Israelites how to manage the land that He is giving to them. Q: What does God want the Israelites to do with the land? A: Give the land a “sabbath for the LORD”. Q: The word “sabbath” is a Hebrew word. What does it mean? A: It means rest, or literally, the stopping of activity.
2.) Q: Do Christians have a Sabbath? A: Yes. Q: When is it? A: Sunday, our day of rest.
3.) Q: What does God mean, “Keep a sabbath for the land”? A: Let the land rest every seventh year and don’t plant anything. Farmers call this letting the land “lie fallow”.
4.) Q: Why did God want the land to lie fallow? A: So you don’t take all the nutrients out of the land, and because the land, like the people, belong to God. The Book of Leviticus was written over 2,000 years ago. Even then, God was teaching His people good methods of agriculture.
5.) Recall that in Genesis Ch. 2, God told the first human to “care for” the land. Q: What do we call caring for the land (and air and water) today? A: Conservation.
6.) Q: How were the people supposed to eat during the seventh or “sabbath” year if they couldn’t plant their fields nor prune their vineyards? A: They could eat the “after – growth”, what grew by itself, but they could not harvest it, that is, cut it down. Q: Who else got to eat of the “aftergrowth”? A: The animals, wild and domestic. God is providing for all creatures.
Courtesy of The Bible Project