Every fiftieth year in Israel's calendar was known as the year of Jubilee. The soil was supposed to lie fallow. Land reverted to its original owner. Slaves were set free. It was a joyous time of freedom, grace, redemption, and rest.
When someone bought a piece of property, he had to take into account the nearness of the year of Jubilee. For instance, the land would be more valuable if forty-five years remained before the next year of Jubilee. But if there was only one year left, the land would hardly be worth owning. The buyer would be able to raise only one crop.
There is a sense in which the Lord's coming will be the year of Jubilee for believers today. They will enter into the eternal rest of the Father's house. They will be set free from the shackles of mortality, and receive their glorified bodies. We should also take this into account in valuing our material possessions. We may have thousands of dollars worth of real estate, investments and bank deposits. But if the Lord should come today, they would be worth nothing to us. The closer we get to His coming, the less real value they have. This means, of course, that we should put them to work today in the advancement of the cause of Christ and in the alleviation of human need.
Just as the year of Jubilee was ushered in by the blowing of a trumpet, so the Lord's return will be announced by the sound of "the last trump." All this teaches us a fine lesson. If our hearts are cherishing the abiding hope of the Lord's return, we shall hold lightly all earthly things.
—From One Day at a Time, by William MacDonald. Used by permission.