A WORD FROM CHARLIE ANDERSON
Lev 25:1 Yahveh spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, and this is what he said,
Lev 25:2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, when you come into the land that I give you, the land will keep a Sabbath to Yahveh.
Lev 25:3 For six years you will plant your field, and for six years you will prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits,
Lev 25:4 but in the seventh year there will be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to Yahveh. You will not plant your field or prune your vineyard.
Lev 25:5 You will not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It will be a year of solemn rest for the land.
Lev 25:6 The Sabbath of the land will provide food for you, for yourself and for your male and female slaves and for your hired worker and the guest who lives with you,
Lev 25:7 and for your cattle and for the wild animals that are in your land: all its yield will be for food.
In the classic Jimmy Stewart movie, “Shenandoah”, Charlie Anderson is saying grace: “Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvest it. We cook the harvest. It wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be eating it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you Lord just the same for the food we’re about to eat, Amen.” But, later in the movie, when war and its effects are all around them, Charlie prays again, and that prayer reflects the reality that eveyone — even Charlie and his family — needs God’s help.
The Israelites had a reminder every seven years that they needed God. The cycle of planting and pruning and gathering would be halted that year, and only gathering would take place. For an entire year, the whole nation would learn that their survival and blessing depends not on their work, but on God’s provision of grace.
LORD, thank you for your constant provision, and for the occasional reminder that we are not doing it all ourselves.