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The Land Enjoyed Its Sabbath Rests

2 Chronicles 36:20-21

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He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.

2 Chronicles 36:20-21 NIV

The Sabbath was a time of rest. It was a day each week when Israel was to stop working and enjoy a day off—a time to worship and recharge for the week ahead. But the Sabbath was not just for those who could afford a day off. It was a day of rest for everyone, including their servants and animals (Ex. 20:10). Even the land was to enjoy a Sabbath, although it was every seventh year rather than every seventh day (Lev. 25:1-7). And this inclusion of the Sabbath year in the Law shows God’s concern, not just for people but all of his creation.

But despite the repeated warnings of the prophets God sent to her, Israel failed to keep the terms of their covenant with God, including the Sabbath year observance. As a result, in 722 B.C., the northern kingdom of Israel was conquered by Assyria and taken into exile. Then, in 587 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, conquered the southern kingdom of Judah. He destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and deported many of its people to other regions in Babylon. The nation was no more.

One of the consequences of Israel going into exile, away from their land and serving a foreign ruler for seventy years, was that the land enjoyed its Sabbath rests (Lev. 26:34-35; Jer. 25:11-12). Israel had failed in their stewardship of the land God had given them. And it was only when they went into exile that the land could rest and recover.

How often today does the creation suffer because we fail to be good stewards of what God has entrusted us with (Gen. 1:26-30; 2:15)? As believers, it is important that we share the good news of Jesus with the world around us. And that we follow his commands to love both God and other people. But we should not lose sight of the need to care for the land and resources God has given us. He cares about it. And so should we.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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