-The twenty-fifth chapter deals with requirements for the sabbatic year, the year of jubilee, slavery, and the rights of the poor for redemption. God expected His people to comply fully when they entered their Promised Land, but sadly from history we see little, or often no, evidence that they fulfilled the laws presented here for letting the land rest. In fact, this is one of the reasons that God took them temporarily from their land (2 Chronicles 36:19-21, Jeremiah 25:11). When God gives a command, He has every right to judge the breaking of it. He promised to provide plenty (Leviticus 25:18-22). He disdained their lack of faith when they did not trust Him. Further, God’s principle of not wronging one another and living in the fear of Him is the key point of this passage (Leviticus 25:17).
-Moreover, redemption is an important theme as we weave our way through this lengthy chapter. The land was not to be sold as permanent concern, for the land was the LORD’s, and His people were simply sojourning on earth with Him (Leviticus 25:23). The year of jubilee would revert all land back to its original ownership within the tribes of Israel with the exception of the clause of sale within a walled city (Leviticus 25:28-30). Levites were also given permanent rights to redemption in their possession no matter what the situation (Leviticus 25:32-34).
-Issues regarding the poor are covered in detail as the chapter moves on. Usury was outlawed with fellow countrymen, which has served the Jewish people well in their financial convictions (Leviticus 25:35-38). A Jewish countryman was not allowed to be considered a slave, but was to be regarded as a hired man, like a sojourner, until the year of jubilee. Then, he was free to go back to his family and the property of his forefathers (Leviticus 25:39-42). Another key principle is outlined in verse 43, “You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God.” Kindness was exemplified by the LORD in His abiding commands. Males and females from pagan nations were authorized to become slaves of the nation of Israel. They could even be passed down through the generations to the sons as permanent possessions (Leviticus 25:44-46). Jewish people who became so poor that they sold themselves to strangers, or sojourners, in the land were given special rights to redemption. Any of the blood relatives could purchase them back if they were so able and inclined. They could even redeem themselves if they prospered (Leviticus 25:47-49). Redemption price was to be calculated fairly and consistently with freedom again coming in the year of jubilee. Once again the refraining from severity in ruling over people is stressed along with the fact that the children of God are His servants whom He brought out from the slavery in Egypt (Leviticus 50-55).
-*Application* Not wronging one another and living in the fear of the LORD is what we must meditate on today. Love is the antidote for the restrictions and reasons for the Law. Jesus has overcome the Law and has abolished its condemnation through His overriding grace and mercy. We have an obligation to reverence and give complete awe to this One who made all things right and reconciled the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Jesus is our redemption!
Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 25:4, 10, 17