Woody Guthrie wrote a folk song about America that began, "This land is your land." The Hebrews could adopt that line for their new nation. The next line, however, "This land is my land," Israel couldn't sing. God was clear about that: "The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me" (Leviticus 25:23). The year of Jubilee would remind them of this. Every 50th year was a reset. The game started over, everyone returned to their original place, debts were covered, and slaves were freed. Mountains of wealth and valleys of poverty were leveled.
It was a reminder that the land wasn't a personal possession, that the Israelites were guests of God, "strangers and sojourners with me." It should remind us, as well, that our home isn't truly here, but somewhere else. "For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (2Corinthians 5:1).
Finally, it should remind us that we needn't fear. We do not have to fend for ourselves, but we are under the care of God. Two words are absolutely vital for Jubilee to work and be a good thing: "with me." We are strangers and sojourners "with God." That means the land is his, not some ruler who could arbitrarily use it for his needs and wants and desires. It belongs to the righteous and holy God who cause all things to work for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes. "I am the LORD your God."
Father in Heaven, the world is Yours, and all that is in it. You are the source of every good and every blessing. My greatest blessing is adoption into Your family because of the saving work of Your Son. You call it grace. I call it good news.
Teach me to share.