Infringing the Sabbath Year

Jeremiah 34:15, 16 - And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name: But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.

One of the main reasons the Church is not growing as it is supposed to grow is because most church leaders are not keeping the Sabbath Year. This statement may surprise you.

Christians know for one thing that the Sabbath year is symbolic therefore do not keep the Sabbath year but when it comes to Sabbath day some try to follow the Jewish understanding and try to keep it in the flesh and not in the spirit or right understanding of it (even though the Jews failed to keep the Sabbath day).

Before I come to today's message I like to expound on some of the words.

The Hebrew word 'shiphchah' translated as handmaid comes from the root word that means 'of family'.

The Hebrew word 'ebed' translated as servant means someone who serves.

When someone asked Jesus who is my neighbour Jesus gave the parable of the Good Samaritan. People have a wrong understanding of Samaritans. They were mostly of Israelite origin. Those who lived in Judah or followed the rules of the Temple in Jerusalem were called Jews. The Samaritans were believers of Yahweh (YHWH) but did not follow the traditions of the Jews therefore were hated by the Jews. It was like if they saw a Samaritan and a snake they would possibly attack the Samaritan first and then the snake; the Jews made the Samarians to fill water from the well during odd times after they finished. They were considered as heretics/untouchable caste.

In short family means those who are believers in Jesus Christ and neighbours are those who are His sheep but not in His flock - they are lost sheep. We are called to love those who are children of God and do not know Him as we love our selves and those within the family we need to love like Christ loved us. Therefore like the Good Shepherd we need to go out and bring the lost sheep into the sheepfold.

Who were those in the Sabbath Year with regards to, did the Lord ask to be released?

It was about the release of a person who had all the 3 characteristics.

1) Neighbour - the lost sheep
2) Servant - one who serves
3) Handmaid - one from the family

The Sabbath year was about the release of those whom we have bought into the Lord and whom we mould spiritually. During the time of moulding they become our disciples even though they are family to us. We though they serve with us / serve us / abide by us we are not allowed to always keep them as our disciples. We are called to set them free on the Sabbath Year.

The Sabbath Year was the 7th year, 7 symbolizes the Holy Spirit (7 Spirits of God). The Sabbath Year in short symbolized the time when the Holy Spirit starts to work in the life of those who we are nurturing in the Lord.

The Lord is saying we bring people in the Lord and break their bonds of the lies of this world. But then when the time comes to set them free to the Spirit of God, we try to put spiritual bonds on them by making them abide by our rules which we call 'authority'. We land up suffocating the Spirit in their lives by our own rules and regulations, demands of respect and self-glorification. Thus we land up destroying our good work and actually land up provoking the Lord to greater anger.

Most western Churches do this and Indian churches have landed following their trend of Infringing the Sabbath Year. We land up not making disciples for the Lord but disciples for ourselves.

Jesus Himself kept the Sabbath Year. He prepared His twelve disciples and then handed them over to the Holy Spirit to take charge over them.

Let our good work not be destroyed by our possessiveness over those whom we have bought into the Lord. Let us not be obstacles in their path to do great works in the Kingdom of God. Let us humble ourselves and just be steps for them to grow and reach higher positions in the Kingdom of God. It is the Lord who will lift us when we humble ourselves.

[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, Your Word says not by your Power or by your strength but by your Spirit. Lord Jesus You also said there is no real teacher like the Spirit of God on the person. Lord, we pray that we do not put iron yokes on people after breaking their bonds of this world. Help us to bring them unto your Spirit and surrender them unto You to led them and build them further...

This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference ]
John 4:7-20
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

2 Kings 5:1-3
1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.
2 And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.

2 Kings 3:1 - Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.

Matthew 23:7-10
7 "greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, 'Rabbi, Rabbi.'
8 "But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.
9 "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.
10 "And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.

Rabbi means honourable teacher
By Christ (meaning anointed one) Jesus refers to the Spirit on the person

The Word of God was given free to us, therefore we should also share it freely with others.
(All rights are with God)