There are some things that I never consider or think through until they actually happen or until I am at least exposed to the possibility of such an occurrence taking place in my life, or the life of a friend or colleague, or through my reading. Does that make sense to you? Have you ever participated in a conversation or read an article about which you never even considered that the subject matter was something that needed to be discussed? I am kind of feeling like this is where I find myself as I am writing this blog post and reflecting on our scripture for today. Check it out:
The Lord said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: Once you enter the land that I am giving you, the land must celebrate a Sabbath rest to the Lord. 3 You will plant your fields for six years, and prune your vineyards and gather their crops for six years.4 But in the seventh year the land will have a special Sabbath rest, a Sabbath to the Lord: You must not plant your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 You must not harvest the secondary growth of your produce or gather the grapes of your freely growing vines. It will be a year of special rest for the land. 6 Whatever the land produces during its Sabbath will be your food—for you, for your male and female servants, and for your hired laborers and foreign guests who live with you, 7 as well as for your livestock and for the wild animals in your land. All of the land’s produce can be eaten. [Leviticus 25:1-7 CEB]
As you know, we are in this series regarding REST. I am going to be looking at a variety of texts to see how we can be inspired to REST in the Lord and challenged to Rest. Period. I know that this might be hard for so many of us depending on what you are going through. Resting, physically or spiritually, can seem like a luxury that only certain people can enjoy... people who are retired or people who are not parents or people who have both parents or people who have good jobs or people who live in gated communities or people who from all appearances "look" they have got it all together! And all of that is totally understandable. Many of us have been taught to live exhausted lives. That was the model that was lived before us. That is the critique that is inflicted upon us when we are not "active" enough to satisfy the standards of the people who take it upon themselves to insert their objections, excuse me, observations of the way we live our lives.
Friends, this REST thing is going to continue to be very interesting as we walk through the Bible exploring texts around REST and today's seven verses fit the bill. Today's passage is about the REST of THE LAND! We aren't even talking about YOU resting but the LAND. The land needs to enter a Sabbath rest says the Lord to Moses.
I will be quite honest with you. I really do wonder what in the world was Moses thinking when the Lord God instructed him to tell the people to let the land REST. I have no doubt that there might have been some shock and surprise or perhaps they were used to it as a part of the cycle of seasons or wisdom of farming that had been cultivated in their community. Regardless of whatever they thought, whether this instruction was foreign or familiar, the instruction was to REST THE LAND.
BlogFam, I cannot help but to ask you this. In what ways do you need to let your land REST? In what ways do you need to cultivate rest in the spaces in your life that produce harvest for you to grow, produce, and eat? How are you over-utilizing the land the Lord has given you by not taking a break and letting the land breathe and be renewed so that it can continue to satisfy the purpose for which the Lord has given it to you?
I think that the above questions are important considerations. There is a reason that the Lord gave this instruction to Moses regarding the REST of THE LAND and perhaps we need to press pause upon reading this reflection and ask the Lord what lands in our lives need to rest. If you are environmentally conscious then your response might lean in the direction of caring for the earth, going green, recycling, protection of endangered species, etc. And that makes sense. But for those of us whose environmental consciousness is limited to not littering, well, I challenge you to think deeply about the lands in your life. What are the places that have been sources of sustenance or places of productivity that need to experience Sabbath? Is it time for you to walk away? Is it time for you to take the time to re-imagine how they may or may not be advantageous to you in the future? Do you need to move over in order to make room for someone else to reap the harvest of the land because God is leading you to a new land?
Friends, I pray that you will not only consider the Sabbath rest that you need for your own life, but that you will consider the ways in which the lands you have sown in, toiled, fertilized, been patient with, and harvested need to be released for Sabbath. And TRUST GOD that whether you return to them or not, all that YOU need, God's hand will provide. GREAT is God's faithfulness!!!
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!