ODJ: Not Ours

May 8, 2017 


The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me (v.23). 

READ: Leviticus 25:23-24 

There’s a fictional story that makes the rounds every once in a while: an elderly woman is looking for her car in a car park. When she finally locates it, she is shocked to discover three men sitting inside. She reaches into her purse and pulls out a gun, causing the frightened men to flee. The woman feels quite proud of herself as she gets in the car. Attempting to put her key in the ignition, she finds it doesn’t fit. Checking her licence plate, she realises the car isn’t hers. She had unjustly driven away the men from a car that was rightly theirs!

Leviticus 25 describes a very important time in the life of Israel called the Year of Jubilee. Celebrated every 50 years, this year focused on justice. During the Jubilee, people who had sold their property because of poverty were given back their land, even if they couldn’t afford to buy it back (v.24).

It might seem unfair to us that people would have to give back property that they’d purchased honestly. But God explains why this was the case in verse 23: “The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me.”

Imitating God’s heart of justice and generosity can be difficult, for it requires us to sacrifice for the good of others. This is never easy to do, especially since we sometimes find ourselves in cultures saturated in greed and materialism. Two things that help are to remember that nothing actually belongs to us in the first place—it belongs to God—and He provides what we need to imitate His ways. And so, what we thought was ours is actually something He’s given us to steward to His glory.

—Peter Chin

365-day plan: Job 1:1-22

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Read 1 Corinthians 6:19 and consider what it means that your body is not your own. 
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When you remember that all things come from God, does that make it easier for you to share with others? What’s something you feel called to share with another today?