The tension is nothing new for us who believe in God. It’s just that most days it seems we never have enough. Between the bills, the home upkeep, and the car repairs, it’s tough just to stay afloat. Often, amazingly, God rigs it this way.
In fact, an unusual custom gives insight into why our means seem so meager.
After settling in the Promised Land, God allowed His people to work the land. But every seventh year, God said, “the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord” (Lev. 25:4) and lie fallow.
This Sabbatical Year allowed for the forgiveness of all debts, and any food that grew went to the poor and to the wild animals.
Then every 50 years, on the year of Jubilee, the land not only rested but also returned to its ancestral owners. And all slaves walked free.
However, in 586 B.C., after God’s people failed to observe the Sabbatical Year for 490 years, God exiled them for the 70 special years they failed to give the land (2 Chron. 36:20-21).
All this was to show that the Promised Land belonged to God, not to those who lived on it (Lev. 25:23). Although they worked the land, they believed God will provide, and He made them stop working to prove He would.
For even when they rested, God supplied (Ps. 127:2).
Here’s why the same is true for us.
Why Our Means Seem So Meager
Anyone who has ever lost a job or sensed true sacrifice in giving to God’s work has felt the tension faith required in the Sabbatical Year. Faith involves trust that God will provide, and trust implies risk (from our perspective).
God will provide for us in daily doses. As with Israel in the wilderness before the Sabbath each week, so our own efforts to gather extra only breed worms . . . and amount to nothing.
Life in the Promised Land looks remarkably like our own in many ways. The Father longs that we understand He will provide daily bread, not careers by which we’re set for life. For while God is never late, He also is seldom early.
God may keep us on the edge of our means, for there we more clearly recognize our need for Him.
Jesus spoke to our common struggle of worrying about money by realigning our priorities to His own:
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. —Matt. 6:31–33
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This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible. • These 90 devotional readings, each based on a specific place in the lands of the Bible, will help you apply the truths of God’s Word to your daily journey of faith. • You’ll enjoy pertinent Scripture, inspirational quotes, photographs, maps, and a daily prayer.
After going places with God, you’ll never be the same.