The Voice of the Lord


"Until the land has been paid her Shabbats" ...until seventy years had passed (2 Chronicles 36:21).

Have you ever noticed that the number seven is the very foundation of the biblical calendar? There are seven days in a week. The seventh day is a Sabbath. The seventh month of the biblical year contains all the autumn sabbaths. Counting seven months from that seventh month brings us to the first month, which contains most of the spring sabbaths. Every seven years is a Sabbatical year and every seven Sabbatical years is a Jubilee year.

What an extraordinary gift the biblical calendar is! Nevertheless, the biblical calendar was largely ignored by Israel through the ages. God's people did not observe the Sabbatical or Jubilee years for four hundred ninety years! They presumed that the Lord no longer cared about the hard-to-keep commandments written down so long ago. But all that time, God was watching and waiting. He counted each of the seventy Sabbatical years that Israel had neglected over the course of five centuries, and, at the time of reckoning, he decreed that Israel would be exiled to Babylon—for seventy years! One year for each of the Sabbatical years that Israel had violated.

Are you ever tempted to neglect God's commandments because they were written down so long ago? Let us learn a lesson from our seventy years in Babylon and avoid presumption as well as God's judgment.

...ask the Lord to search my heart to reveal any presumption within me.


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The Voice of the Lord, Copyright 1998 by the Lewis and Harriet Lederer Foundation, Inc. Published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources, All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article may be reproduced in print or on the web, or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the publisher.