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THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD – PART II

From The Heart

Publish date: 06/26/2011

The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed one, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], 19 To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound.]   
Luke 4:18-19 AMP

And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his ancestral possession [which through poverty he was compelled to sell], and each of you shall return to his family [from whom he was separated in bond service].  Leviticus 25:10 AMP

Israel was commanded to observe a Sabbath year every seventh year (Leviticus 25:1-7) and a Jubilee year every fiftieth year (Leviticus 25:8-55). These years were set aside as a reminder to Israel that God was their source and supply. They were to cease from their labors and trust God to provide everything they needed as individuals, families and as a nation – it was a year of rest – a year to demonstrate their faith in their God. Hebrews 4:9-10 says, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”  The Lord promised that if they obeyed Him in this, and all His commandments, that they would always dwell in the land in safety and security.

The advantages of the Jubilee year were the following:
It brought about peace and equality.
It prevented the inequalities of the extremes of riches and poverty.
It prevented the few from dominating the many.
It prevented the few from accumulating land to the detriment of the rest of the community.
It allowed no place for the arrogance that comes with power and wealth, since anything accumulated at another’s expense had to be restored.
It prevented temporary poverty from becoming permanent poverty.
It made it impossible for anyone to be born in poverty since everyone inherited land.
It gave everyone a chance to begin again.
It did away with slavery.
It brought the balance of power back equally to all.
It removed any class distinctions and divisions that may have arisen.
It brought about peace between individuals and families.
It precluded the need for a single human leader or king.
Everyone would recognize God as their Master and King.
Everyone was equal before God.

The Sabbath years, and the Jubilee years, were years dedicated to the worship of Almighty God – a time to reflect on the goodness of God, to thank Him for His provision and protection and also a time of restoration and replacing of anything that had been lost or removed. It was a time when the free favors of God would profusely abound. The Lord’s design for the Jubilee Year was to keep His people in a position of prosperity and abundance. The Lord wanted us to always remember and be aware of the fact that He owns the land and He graciously allows us to enjoy the use and benefits of it.

The land shall not be sold into perpetual ownership, for the land is Mine; you are [only] strangers and temporary residents with Me. Leviticus 25:23 AMP

These people all died controlled and sustained by their faith, but not having received the tangible fulfillment of [God’s] promises, only having seen it and greeted it from a great distance by faith, and all the while acknowledging and confessing that they were strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth.  Hebrews 11:13 AMP

We are only temporary residents here on earth. We are here in God’s plan and for His pleasure. Psalms 24:1 AMP says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it, the world and they who dwell in it.”  We will never be truly blessed unless we remember that everything we have and enjoy belongs to Almighty God. He is the one who made and who owns it all and who gives us the right to use it. Because He owns it, we cannot claim exclusive rights to it. It was here before we were born and it will be here after we die. We get to use it while we are here as long as we are here. If we remember this, we will be able to resist the temptation toward covetousness. Covetousness is a spirit of fear that makes things more important than people. The Father wants us to always remember that people are more important than things and that we need have no fear for ourselves – He will provide everything that we need when we need it!

And beware lest you say in your [mind and] heart, My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth. 18 But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8:17-18 AMP

As long as we remember that everything we have and enjoy belongs to the Father, then we will deal graciously with our neighbor. If we forget that the Lord is the one who gives us the power to get wealth, we will begin to get lifted up in pride; then fear takes over and we become covetous. When you are covetous, you no longer deal righteously with your neighbor or with God. The Israelites had one Year of Jubilee every fifty years – Jesus came to bring a permanent Jubilee for all those who will believe in Him! Jesus came to bring freedom and restoration to us – spirit, soul and body! It’s time to celebrate Jesus! This is our Year of Jubilee – let’s receive, enjoy and share all the blessings that the Father has for us!

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