Commentary on Parashat Bahar (On the Mountain)

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This post is written by a member of the Messianic community in Israel or guest contributor. The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Kehila News Israel or myself.

Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:1-26:2

Our Scripture reading this week is full of rich and though-provoking passages that deal with trusting God and resting in His faithfulness:

“The LORD then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the LORD. ‘Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. ‘Your harvest’s aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. ‘And all of you shall have the sabbath products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. ‘Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat.” Leviticus 25:1-7

This is what we refer to as “Shmitah”, which occurs every seven years in Israel. A condition to understand this important concept is the fact that God tells the sons of Israel that this shall happen when they come into the Land; this specific command is for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. However, I believe this holds important principles that are beneficial to all who follow the Lord.

In these specific scriptures, God commands that the Land should have a sabbath rest. Why would God command a sabbath rest, not just for men, but also for the Land? While there are many spiritual (even mysterious) implications in this command, I personally believe that one of the simplest is that God cares for all of His creation. The principle here, however, is not just for the land, but also for human beings. If the land needs a “break” – which is actually time to rest, time to be sanctified and rededicated to God – how much more do we also need that? (Click to Article)

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