Abstract: In the Exodus, God delivered his people from slavery in order that they might rest securely with him in his special Promised Land. In order to preserve and reinforce this work of redemption (liberation), God instituted the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-55), also known as the “year of liberation.” Every fifty years, this Jubilee was proclaimed throughout the land. Those who had been forced to sell themselves into slavery due to economic hardship were freed; and, likewise, land that was sold was returned to its family. The year of Jubilee both reveals God’s immense compassion for the downtrodden and points us forward in anticipation to the ultimate Jubilee that is achieved for us by Jesus (Isaiah 61:1-4; Luke 4:16-21).
The Jubilee (Lev 25:8-55; cf. 27:16-24; Num 36:4; Jer 34:8-22), also known as a “year of liberty” (Ezek 46:17), was a special institution given by God to preserve and reinforce his work of redemption on behalf of his people.
In the Exodus, God had liberated his people from the bondage of slavery under the Egyptians. He did so in order that he might claim them as his special people and cause them to dwell securely (rest) in his special place (the Promised Land) (e.g., Ex 3:8; Lev 25:38). In so doing, God was recovering his purpose for creation — God’s people dwelling securely with him (resting) in God’s special place.
On Sunday, January 24th, 2016, I began a Core Seminar on Redemptive History & Biblical Theology at my church, Lake Drive Baptist Church. During the course of this series I’ll be sending out emails recapping lessons and directing recipients to resources for further study.
Rather than just share these recaps with my church family, I’ve decided to share them here on the blog for anyone else who might be interested. I will be posting them occasionally over the next couple of months on a weekly basis or so.
See previous posts:
We continue this week’s core seminar recap by reviewing the role of Israel’s entrance and initial life in the Promised Land in redemptive history.
Overview of Biblical material
Joshua, Judges, Ruth.
- After the wilderness Generation died, Moses preaches the Law at the edge of the promised land (Deuteronomy). He prepare the next generation to enter the land.
- The torch of national leadership is passed from Moses to Joshua.
- Joshua leads the people into the land and they/God conquer.
- Joshua distributes the land, much of which is yet to be conquered, to the twelve tribes.
- But, although the land is promised to them, the tribes fail to fully possess the land given to them. Many of its original inhabitants are left.
- Israel’s leadership enters into a stage of judges (e.g., Ehud, Barak, Gideon, Samson, etc.), who are far from godly leaders.
- The time-period of the judges is characterized by…
- (1) A lack of political stability:
- No centralized government.
- No king.
- Israel is a group of loosely connected tribes.
- Repeated oppression from surrounding nations.
- (2) A lack of moral stability:
Sum: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
- Israel repeats a cycle (see Judges 2:6-23):
- (1) Disobedience/idolatry.
- (2) Divine punishment in terms of oppression of nearby nations.
- (3) Israel’s cry to God for help.
- (4) God raising up a judge and providing deliverance.
Role within redemptive history
So, now, as always, we want to ask, how does this episode fit into redemptive history? How does this initial entrance and life in the land relate to God bringing about his covenant-bound new-creational kingdom purposes?
We can summarize its place as follows: Although God is faithful to his covenant-bound purposes to bring about his new-creational kingdom, God’s people only experience a partial realization of it due to disbelieving disobedience. Continue reading
Yesterday Matt Smethurst published a blog post on Israel, Gaza, and the idea of Israel’s ‘divine right’ to the land (originally posted Nov 22, 2012). In it Matt linked to and shared thoughts from one of John Piper’s sermons on that same topic. I was familiar with this sermon; I have listened to it once or twice previously. But I was reminded of it yesterday; and, like Matt, I thought it would be good to share his principles as well as some commentary.
In the sermon, John Piper provides 7 principles concerning Israel, Palestine, the land, ‘divine right,’ etc. I want to share these because 1) this is incredibly relevant right now and 2) I think Piper is spot on here.
1. God chose Israel from all the peoples of the world to be his own possession.
Deuteronomy 7:6 – The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
2. The Land was part of the inheritance he promised to Abraham and his descendants forever.
Genesis 15:18 – On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.”
Genesis 17:7-8 – “I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”