Friday, August 31, 2007
Year of the Jubilee
Malaysia is celebrating her 50th year of independence today!
Happy 50th Merdeka!
10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You may eat the produce of the field. 13 "In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property. 14 And if you make a sale to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another. 15 You shall pay your neighbor according to the number of years after the jubilee, and he shall sell to you according to the number of years for crops.
The 50th year is special. God consecrated it as the year of liberty - the year of jubilee. The name "jubilee" is derived fron the Hebrew, jobel, the joyful shout or clangor of trumpets. In the year of jubilee, God commanded the following:
1. Rest for the soil - land is to lie fallow: not sown, not tilled, vineyards and oliveyards not dressed, spontaneous not gathered but left for the poor, the stranger, the cattle.
2. Reversion of landed property to the original owners.
3. Emancipation of Israelites who had become slaves.
The year of the jubilee was a remedy for the evil of human society and human government: to abolish poverty, prevent large and permanent accumulation of wealth, give the poor an opportunity to begin over again with a fair start in life.
What does it mean for us as Malaysian Christians?