Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Agriculture and the Sabbath-a test of faith

Did a little research on various internet sites and thought I would share it with any study heads out there that like this stuff...

Leviticus 25:1-5 (NIV) 1 The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the LORD. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.

Sabbaths are a Test Commandment

The Sabbaths are a test commandment to "prove the people whether they would walk in God's law or not" (Ex. 16:4-30).

As part of the fourth commandment, the Sabbath and Jubilee years are a test of faith for God's people to obey and trust Him to bless them and provide their needs even during long periods of commanded rest (Lev 25:20-22; 26:2-12; Neh 5)."And if you say, 'What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?'" Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth produce enough for three years" (Lev 25:20-21).

The Sabbath and Jubilee years were given to provide a "sabbatical rest" for the land and for man, requiring farmers to take a break from their regular pursuit for profit and wealth, learning to trust God to provide.

Throughout history, man has exploited the land, which caused erosion and depletion of soil fertility and productivity and resulted in the downfall of many civilizations of the past (see "Conquest of the Land Through 7,000 Years," Agricultural Information Bulletin No. 99, U.S.D.A and "Ill Fared the Land").

The principles of the land rest are principles of soil conservation for maintaining and improving soil fertility, rediscovered by the U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service, which was established because of the "dust bowl" of the 1930's in the U.S. For more understanding of soils and sustainable soil management principles see "Keys to Understanding Soil's & Soil Testing for Sustainable Soil Management" and "Soil Biotechnology for Profitable & Sustainable Agricultural Systems".

God knows the the land needs to rest and He commands us to let it rest. May we obey for our own prosperity's sake. By the way, what am I made out of? Psalms 103:14 (NIV) 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. I need my rest every seven days too or I become less productive.

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