Life-Study of Leviticusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to Leviticus 25, a well-known chapter on the jubilee. However, this chapter begins not with the jubilee but with the sabbath year. We all are familiar with the sabbath day, but we may not know very much about the sabbath year.
Leviticus 25:2-7, 18-22 speak of the sabbath year. This sabbath was not a day of rest but a year of rest. The sabbath year was a rest not only for man but also for the land.
God is a God of rest. He worked, but after He worked He rested. In Genesis God rested not by Himself but with man. After His work, God enjoyed rest with man. Therefore, on the seventh day both God and man were at rest.
In order for there to be a jubilee, it was necessary for God’s people to have the practice of observing the sabbath year. Every seventh year was to be a sabbath, and that year was to be a rest for man and also for the land. It was a year of rest for God, for man, and for the land.
The sabbath day refers to Christ, and the sabbath year also refers to Christ. Christ is our sabbath not merely for one day but for a full year. Hence, the sabbath year denotes Christ in His fullness as our rest. We need to enjoy Him not only as our sabbath day but also as our sabbath year, that is, not only as our rest in part but as our rest in full. The sabbath year is for us to enjoy Christ in full as our rest with God. If we keep this in mind, we shall enjoy much more of Christ.
“When you enter into the land which I give you, the land shall keep a sabbath to Jehovah. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its produce; but in the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath of solemn rest, a sabbath to Jehovah” (vv. 2-4a). The sabbath day being for man, one day out of every week, and the sabbath year being for the land, one whole year out of every seven years, signify that Christ is the realm of the full rest that we may enjoy Him as our rest to the fullest.
“You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. That which grows of itself from your harvest you shall not reap, and the grapes of your untrimmed vine you shall not gather; it shall be a year of solemn rest for the land” (vv. 4b-5). This signifies that rest is purely and wholly of grace and that all human labor should cease absolutely. When the land rests, the laborers, the farmers working on the land, must also rest. It is good to have a long rest, but such a time of rest may be a test to us. We may become bored and be tempted to do something that is contrary to the divine thought. We all need to learn how to labor with God and also how to cease our work and rest with God as long as He desires to rest.
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