God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

February 21 - Leviticus 24-25: On Blasphemy and Sabbath Years

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 24-25

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God's heavy punishments were meant to prevent people from committing horrible acts of aggression.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

A half-Egyptian Israelite cursed God. Those who heard condemned him and the congregation stoned him. God required that anyone who injured another person would be required to suffer the same injury—even if it meant death. This law was for anyone inside Israel's borders.
God told the people to let the land to rest on the seventh year. God would provide enough on the sixth year to sustain the people.
On the fiftieth year all land would return to its original family and all slaves were to be released.
Israelites were not to make a profit off the poor.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God will not allow his name to be cursed in his land.

This is the lesson Israel received from the Israelite with an Egyptian father. No one—including foreigners—were allowed to curse God's name on God's land. But what is also important to see is that God required the people who heard the man curse God to condemn him before he was executed.

God wanted the earth to have a year of rest.

God not only wanted the people to rest every week he also wanted the land to rest every seven years. This would both allow the land to rejuvenate (before the popular use of fertilizers) and allow the people to show their faith in God. God promised he would bless them so great on the sixth year that they would never starve during or after the rest. God will bless us before and after we pledge to obey His will.

God protects the poor from onerous interest.

God would not allow His Chosen People to exploit the situation of the poor. He required them to loan without expecting interest.

The Jubilee served as a reset button for the Israelites.

The land would return to the original owner's family. Israelite slaves were to be set free. Debts were forgiven. However, God did require all prices to be set based on when the Jubilee would happen. God would not cheat the land buyers anymore than he would cheat the people who received the land back.

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