Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Jubilee.... A long thought for the day!

Leviticus 25 is the only part of the Bible that deals with the Year of Jubilee. And there is no reference that some of the principles of the Jubilee being carried out, but the intent of the laws and principles established are eternally valid.
The Year of Jubilee begins with verses about the sabbatical year which occurred once in every seven years. During the seventh year the people were to rest. In order to provide rest for the land they were not to plant, sow or harvest the land. All debts were to be cancelled, and slaves were to be set free. How do you think the people must have felt knowing that they could not plant their crops for a year? They may have been wondering how they would survive, or they may have been happy to have a year of vacation time! This year of sabbath was to teach them the faithfulness of God. To look to Him for everything that they needed. God demands times of rest and renewal. On the seventh day He rested from all His work. Even though God never gets tired, He wanted to reflect and enjoy what He had made. Remember the sabbath and keep it holy. Remember with gratitude all that we have been given.

The announcement of Jubilee began with the sounding of trumpets throughout the land in the fiftieth year. Jubilee was a special sabbatical year, a sabbath of sabbaths. The same principles were applied as in the seventh year but also, any land owned was returned to it's original owners. Everyone was to return to his own property. There is no reference that this actually happened. It could be that people ignored these instructions or found ways to get around them, just as people try to get around God's commandments today. The point was not of the land returning to the people, but the people returning to the land. If land is taken from the people, the family becomes scattered about. That is why the land is important. The land existed for the people rather than the people for the land. Families are the ultimate basis of any society, so to the degree that families are destroyed, so is the society destroyed. Of course a system of land reallocation could never be carried out today. We are much too greedy. But think about what this would do for our society today in terms of poverty.

The principle is that God's people were not owners of the land. The land was God's. Everything we have we are holding for God, and we are responsible to Him for what we do with it. The rewards for obeying the laws of the sabbath and Jubilee were blessings of rain causing them to become prosperous by incresing their crops, peace, protection, power, prosperity, provisions, and privaleges.
Before I started this Bible study, I didn't think God actually punished us. Boy, was I wrong! The punishment for sin is extensive. We as sinners are motivated by evil. It is stated that if the people did not obey the laws of the sabbath he would bring sudden disasters upon them, withold rain, allow wild animals to harass them, send enemies against them. Fortunately, for us punishment is not the last word. God says He will have mercy. He will not abandon us, but forgive our sins ( if we ask ). Whether He is blessing us or punishing us God always keeps His covenant and is true to His word.
Are you obedient or disobedient? Do what He asks and watch the blessings pour in. There is so little value in material possessions. Today everything we have has been given to us by God and is to be used faithfully to serve Him. Are you using what God has given you?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Swimming Lessons at Pepper Geddings

They hold onto the floating dumbells and practice turning their heads to breathe.
They have made good progress. Today we start another session and will repeat level 3 for 4 weeks. Level 4 will concentrate on all the different strokes.

Practicing breathing.....

New additions to the family..

Smokey and Bandit

Cookies and Cream

Unfortunately, Smokey left the world 5 days after he came home, but we still have Bandit, Cookies, and Cream. Bandit is doing well and seems to like being alone. He sleeps all day and runs really fast on his wheel at night. Cookies and Cream are really great pets. They are usually pretty lovable and are really cute. Anna is doing a great job keeping them fed and the cages cleaned out.

Paintings in Progress......

Excuse the tater tots......acutally they are crispy crowns!! My favorite!