May 12, 2019
God’s Plan to Prevent Poverty
That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine…. And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another. Leviticus 25:11-14, NKJV.
In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land, with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. And no devising of human beings has ever improved upon that plan. To the world’s departure from it is owing, to a large degree, the poverty and wretchedness that exist today.
At the settlement of Israel in Canaan, the land was divided among the whole people, the Levites only, as ministers of the sanctuary, being excepted from the equal distribution. The tribes were numbered by families, and to each family, according to its numbers, was apportioned an inheritance.
And although some might for a time dispose of their possessions, they could not permanently barter away the inheritance of their children. When able to redeem their land, they were at liberty at any time to do so. Debts were remitted every seventh year, and in the fiftieth, or year of jubilee, all landed property reverted to the original owner.
“The land shall not be sold for ever” was the Lord’s direction: “for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land. If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. And if the man … himself be able to redeem it; … he may return unto his possession. But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubilee” (Leviticus 25:23-28)…. Thus every family was secured in its possession, and a safeguard was afforded against the extremes of either wealth or want. – The Ministry of Healing, 183-185.
From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 171.