"Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month;
on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land...
~ Leviticus 25:9
Continuing from yesterday, after a "sabbath of sabbaths", the fiftieth year would be a year of Jubilee. When the precise time arrived, there would be a sounding of trumpets (the word "jubilee" means "toe clamoring of trumpets.")
What was this precise time? At the very hour as the high priest entered the holy place to sprinkle the sacrificial blood - trumpets began to blare all across the land. The trumpets were heard in every city, hamlet, village, mountain and valley. Every Israelite knew the meaning of the sound...
What was the meaning of the trumpet sound?
Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.
~ Leviticus 25:10
The sound of the trumpets announced:
The sound of the trumpets canceled all debts and restored all goods to the original owners. It freed every servant from every form of captivity and bondage! It was a new start in life for all people!
Under Jewish law, no man owned any land. Even though he may have inherited his property, and it remained in his family as long as the family survived, God owned everything. Every Israelite was to recognize that God possessed the hills, the valleys, the cattle, the wealth of this world - and that His people were only the lifetime leaseholders. They were to hold onto their possessions lightly.
Yet, if a person fell into debt - whether through mismanagement, disobedience, sloth or some kind of disaster - there was no provision for bankruptcy. Let's say a farmer owed someone a large sum of money. He might have to sell his own children and servants to pay off the debt. Them, if the farmer fell further behind, he would have to hand over his land, forfeiting all profits from the harvest. And in an extreme case, the farmer might even have to sell himself to another farmer, just to provide a living.
But when the Jubilee came - in the fiftieth year, after a sabbath of sabbaths - every debt was wiped out! All leases and possessions reverted back to the original leaseholder. And that meant the farmer would get his land and his family back!
You can imagine the rejoicing that took place in Israel and Judah when the trumpets sounded! Families were reunited. Homes were restored. It was a time of liberty, freedom, deliverance!
No planting or harvesting was done during the year of Jubilee. Instead, it was a time of rejoicing and rest - praising God for His grace, provision and freedom!
The liberty proclaimed at Jubilee was not just an idea founded on faith alone. It was the law of the land.
All the debtor had to do to have the law enforced was to stand on it. One of the duties of the Levites was to enforce God's code; they assured justice was given. If a debt holder or slave master tried to hold on to the property or persons that had been sold to them, the debtor merely had to declare there was no more legal right over such property or person. The trumpets of Jubilee had announced the time of release had come!
They could declare:
Nothing in my past can be held against me!
I've been unshackled, delivered!
No one can rob me of my deliverance!
Yet the person in bondage had to act in order to take possession of his freedom or his lost porperty. He could dance and shout in the synagogue all he wanted, crying: "I'm free! Everything has been restored!" But until he stepped out and claimed his rights, he couldn't enjoy any of it.
Do you see the significance and relationship to our life in Christ?
Most Christians have not claimed the Jubilee Jesus Christ has given them! Many think that merely showing up at church or singing praise songs is that "joyful sound" of Jubilee. But it is much, much more!
God calls us to appropriate the freedom, peace and glory He has provided for us through the forgiveness of sins. We are to step out and claim it!
What promises is God prompting you to appropriate
today, this week, and this year?
Part 1 can be found here
Part 3 can be found here
Wilkerson, David. Times Square Church Pulpit Series. 13 October 1997.
Used with permission - link to Times Square Church here