Troublesome Topic: The Year of Jubilee Taught Faith and Trust

Lesson 7 of 7

The Year of Jubilee was even harder to obey than the Sabbath year. Every 49th year, being a multiple of seven, was a Sabbath year so no crops were planted. According to Lev  25:11,

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and other verses in that chapter, the fiftieth year, called the Year of the Ram’s Horn, or the Year of Jubilee, should also see no planting or harvesting of crops. They were to “live off the land” during that time. Whatever came up on its own, what we call volunteer plants, they could make a meal of, but they could not harvest in bulk and store it. It was one meal at a time, with faith in God that there would be enough there for the next meal without other people, animals or weather conditions ruining it.


Did that mean they were expected to trust that the harvest from the 48th year, together with what the land produced on its own, would be sufficient for three years? Yes, that is exactly what God expected. Wow! That’s a lot for God to expect. Could God make one harvest go that far? Yes. Could God supply their needs from natural growth of the plant life around them? Yes. Was it easy to trust like that? NO! Were these covenant conditions effective at teaching trust and faith? Absolutely! They were effective because God did not simply tell them to trust in Him, He placed them in situations where they had to trust in Him if they wanted to be obedient to His covenant.

How about us? Are we willing to place ourselves in situations where we have to trust God? Or will we say that God’s expectations are illogical or unreasonable and we will refuse to follow them? (Later we will discuss the conditions of the New Covenant.) Do you choose to live the Christian life your way, in your strength, or do you choose to follow God with a radical faith, leaving the results up to him?

The next lesson in the Full and Medium Series on Covenants is: The Jewish Understanding of How the Universe Functions.

The next lesson in Why Is That in the Bible? is: Respect Goats and Birds


1: Lev 25:11

That year, the fiftieth year, shall be [known] to you as “the year of the ram’s horn.” During that year, you shall neither plant nor harvest, nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.