Woody Guthrie can sing, “This land is your land; this land is my land.” Israel cannot. God was clear, “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me” (Leviticus 25:23). Every 50th year, the year of Jubilee, was a reset. The game started over, everyone returned to their original spot, debts were covered, and slaves were freed. Mountains of wealth and valleys of poverty were leveled.
It was a reminder that the land was not a personal possession, that the Israelites were guests of God, “strangers and sojourners with me.” It should remind us, as well, that our home is not truly or ultimately this, but something other. “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (2Corinthians 5:1). Therefore, we need not fear. We do not fend for ourselves, but are under the care of God.
Two words are essential to Jubilee: “with me.” We are strangers and sojourners “with God.” The world is not the possession of king or kingdom, subject to its needs, wants, or desires. It belongs to the righteous and holy God who causes all things to work for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes.
“I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 25:55).
Father in Heaven, the world is Yours, and all that is in it. You are the source of every good and every blessing. My greatest blessing is adoption into Your family because of the saving work of Your Son. You call it grace. I call it good news.
Teach me to share.