Rich Blessings From a Sabbath for the Land

Rich Blessings From a Sabbath for the Land, August 24

Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Leviticus 25:3, 4, NKJV. BLJ 250.1

The feast of tabernacles, or harvest festival, with its offerings from orchard and field, its week’s encampment in the leafy booths, its social reunions, the sacred memorial service, and the generous hospitality to God’s workers, the Levites of the sanctuary, and to His children, the strangers and the poor, uplifted all minds in gratitude to Him who had crowned the year with His goodness, and whose paths dropped fatness. BLJ 250.2

By the devout in Israel, fully a month of every year was occupied in this way. It was a period free from care and labor, and almost wholly devoted, in the truest sense, to purposes of education. BLJ 250.3

In apportioning the inheritance of His people, it was God’s purpose to teach them, and through them the people of after generations, correct principles concerning the ownership of the land. The land of Canaan was divided among the whole people, the Levites only, as ministers of the sanctuary, being excepted. Though one might for a season dispose of his possession, he could not barter away the inheritance of his children. When able to do so, he was at liberty at any time to redeem it; debts were remitted every seventh year, and in the fiftieth, or year of jubilee, all landed property reverted to the original owner. Thus every family was secured in its possession, and a safeguard was afforded against the extremes either of wealth or of poverty. BLJ 250.4

By the distribution of the land among the people, God provided for them, as for the dwellers in Eden, the occupation most favorable to development—the care of plants and animals. A further provision for education was the suspension of agricultural labor every seventh year, the land lying fallow, and its spontaneous products being left to the poor. Thus was given opportunity for more extended study, for social interaction and worship, and for the exercise of benevolence, so often crowded out by life’s cares and labors. BLJ 250.5

Were the principles of God’s laws regarding the distribution of property carried out in the world today, how different would be the condition of the people!—Education, 42-44. BLJ 250.6

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