Jubilee, Day 5

“Jubilee, Day 5”
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

Then the Lord said to Moses: Go to Pharaoh and tell him: Thus says the Lord: Let my people go to serve me.

Exodus 7:26 (NABRE; 8:1 in other translations)

For the Israelites belong to me as servants; they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, I, the Lord, your God.

Leviticus 25:55

The yoke and rod of Pharaoh, who was regarded as divine, were broken to free the Israelites to worship their God in the wilderness. The journey to freedom proved to be long and difficult, and often even undesirable. Mirages of Egyptian delicacies constantly tempted the former slaves to return to the comforts of servitude. 

The riffraff among them were so greedy for meat that even the Israelites lamented again, “If only we had meat for food! We remember the fish we used to eat without cost in Egypt, and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now we are famished; we have nothing to look forward to but this manna.”

Numbers 11:4-6

External freedom did not free the Israelites from the tyranny of the appetites, ingratitude, or sin. The freedom to worship during the Sabbath and Jubilee years may also have felt more like a burden than a gift to many. Wealthy households had to let go of cheap labor from slaves, and slaves had to work hard from the ground up to make a new start for their families. Watching farmland grow wild for a year without cultivation might have seemed like a waste to merchants and traders. Was the freedom to leave Egypt and serve the Lord worth the cost?

The journey to liberty in the Promised Land, the Jubilee of Jubilees, ends in the human heart where God is enthroned. The cost is indeed very high—count it before you begin, Jesus warned (Luke 14:26-33)—but the reward is sanctification, the eternal gold of being a child of God.

But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life.

Romans 6:22

6 Replies to “Jubilee, Day 5”

  1. Eternal life is God’s promise.
    Not a bowl of delicacies.
    How they wished for food!
    How they wished for meat!
    After arduous travels
    would they find a home?
    In the end they learned
    God’s throne is in hearts.
    We go with God where we go.
    A lesson we are grasping yet.

  2. Dear GMC, God leads us around by the stuff of the heart and not the scruff of the neck. He is commanding, not demanding. He gives us all, so we can live our all. We are slaves of God, not friends of sin! Thank you, GMC, for your reflection. It makes me happy to be a slave of God.

    1. Thank you, fdan. May you also be a friend of God. Scripture presents infinite reality through finite words, so one limited idea counterbalances another. This prevents us from becoming attached to words and ideas. Compare Romans 6:22 and John 15:15: “I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” Slaves on the one hand, and friends on the other, depending on the idea that is being emphasized. Finite minds can only grasp a bit at a time.

      1. Dear GMC, My infinite thanks for taking the time to teach us. Your reflections and replies are cherished by me and I take them to prayer and Spiritual direction for further discovery. Our minds are finite, but may our hearts be infinite. Especially with love, to love whatever His Majesty wants us to be. Thank you for your grace and your compassion towards your family of bloggers.

        1. Our hearts are “God-shaped,” as the popular saying goes, for God has placed “eternity” in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Thank you for your prayers.

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