"In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property."
The year of jubilee has always fascinated me. The celebration is based on the understanding that both the Israelites and the land of Israel belong to God. In verse 10, liberty is to be proclaimed throughout the nation with a loud trumpet blast declaring the start of the year of jubilee. Not only is this a year of liberty and celebration, but a year of redemption of people and property.
The first use of the Hebrew word for jubilee is found in Exodus 19:13; "When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain." The word trumpet is the same word jubilee found in Leviticus 25:13. The trumpets in Leviticus 25 remind me of the expected trumpet blast to announce the coming of our LORD Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Needless to say, the sound or blast of the trumpet is mentioned most often in the NT in Revelation leading up to and upon Jesus' return. Just as both the people and the land of Israel belonged to God so, too, does the earth and all its inhabitants. Therefore, much like the year of jubilee's redemption, Jesus' return declares the redemption of all that is His.
We would unite our voice with the One who says "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. What a great declaration of liberty being proclaimed throughout the land.
2 Timothy 4:6-8
2 Timothy is the last of the Apostle Paul's letters. According to church tradition, Paul was beheaded not long after he wrote this letter to Timothy.
In the previous verses, Paul charged Timothy to fulfill his ministry with a description of what that entails. The inference is just as Paul has fulfilled his calling so, too, should Timothy. From this passage, Paul is aware the end of his life is rapidly approaching. Verse six is a beautiful OT metaphor for Paul's life being poured out as a drink offering.
Isn't verse seven the prayer and desire of all believers? May it be true of each of us, no matter our age, to say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." "The crown of righteousness...the LORD...will award to me"; what a great promise to base our life on! With that expectation before us, don't we want to fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith? Don't you look forward to His coming appearance? ARCC, my church home, closes each worship service with a responsive statement of that desire. The speaker will declare "Maranatha!" and the congregation responds "He comes!".
This passage has special meaning to me since my grandfather taught it on a Wednesday night just three days before his accidental death. I doubt he knew how soon his crown of righteousness would be awarded to him by his LORD. From all I have learned about him, 2 Timothy 4:6-8 was an appropriate benediction to his life.
Oh, LORD Jesus, may this passage be my prayer and goal as I finish the course You have laid before me.