“I will desolate the land, so that your enemies living in it will be astounded by it. You I will disperse among the nations, and I will draw out the sword in pursuit after you; your land will be a desolation and your cities a wasteland. Then, at last, the land will be paid its Shabbats. As long as it lies desolate and you are in the lands of your enemies, the land will rest and be repaid its Shabbats. Yes, as long as it lies desolate it will have rest, the rest it did not have during your Shabbats, when you lived there.”-Leviticus 26:32-35
You know what I find quite fascinating and actually downright perplexing about the gentile church?
I find it amazing how quick the church is to point out all of the judgements God leveled on Israel throughout their long history but fail to see the judgments God has leveled and is leveling on their respective nations due to their treatment of Israel.
A good case in point are the quote after quote coming out of the world of Islam noting the divine connection between America’s treatment of Israel and the nation’s weather and economic calamities.
Verse 32 talks about an identical thing occurring.
In other words, Israel’s enemies will recognize that the desolation of the land of Israel is directly connected to Israel’s apostasy but the people of Israel will for the most part remain dumbfounded as to why all of this tragedy is happening to them.
Let’s take a look at verse 34.
“Then, at last, the land will be paid its Shabbats. As long as it lies desolate and you are in the lands of your enemies, the land will rest and be repaid its Shabbats.”
This verse clearly anticipates that Israel will NOT obey the laws pertaining to the sabbath which state that after using the land for 6 years, Israel is to allow the land to rest for 1 year.
In addition, this verse also anticipates that Israel will NOT obey the laws of Jubilee which commands that every 50 years the Hebrews are to give the land a consecutive 2-year rest.
The implied conclusion in this verse is that because of Israel breaking the commands concerning the Sabbath, YHWH’s heavy hand of discipline is going to fall on His people.
Their disobedience is going to be the very reason God will drive His people out of the land and send them into exile, which will allow the land to be repaid back its sabbaths.
Simply put, God is going to punish His people because they forced the land to work when they should have allowed it to rest.
The Hebrew word for “repaid” from verse 34 is HIRTSAH.
The root term from which this word originates means “to make up for”, “to compensate” or “to expiate”.
I believe this is a perfect demonstration of the fact that the laws of the Torah don’t just come and go.
They’re not like manmade laws that change with the times or whims of elected government officials.
God’s laws have been sown into the very fabric of the Universe and are just as dependable as the law of gravity.
Think about the law of gravity for a second.
We can’t see it but we know it’s there and not only do we know it’s there, we can see the effects of this law in most aspects of our lives.
In other words, to attempt to ignore the law of gravity by for example trying to be superman by jumping off of a building and hoping to fly is to welcome death.
The very same principle applies to God’s Sabbath laws.
So let’s ask and answer the $64,000 question.
Did the consequence of Israel ignoring God’s laws finally catch up to them as a nation?
You bet your bipeds it did!
Let’s take a look at this interesting little excerpt from the book of Ezekiel.
“Next, you are to lie on your left side, and have it bear the guilt of the house of Israel — for as many days as you lie on your side, you will bear their guilt. For I am assigning you one day for each year of their guilt; thus you are to bear the guilt of the house of Israel for 390 days. Then, when you have finished that, you are to lie on your right side and bear the guilt of the house of Judah for forty days, each day corresponding to a year; this is what I am assigning you.”-Ezekiel 4:4-6
With each day representing one year, God commanded Ezekiel to lay on his left side for 390 days for the iniquity of the Northern Kingdom of Ephraim-Israel and then commanded Ezekiel to lay on his right side for 40 days for the inquiry of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
We’re talking about a total of 430 days.
This was a symbolic action of Israel’s coming punishment which would be their exile from the land.
Now contrast what I have just written with the following verses from 11 Chronicles.
“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.”-II Chronicles 36:21
II Chronicles makes it clear that the very purpose for Ephraim-Israel and then Judah being expelled from the land was TO REPAY THE LAND BACK ITS SABBATHS DUE TO ISRAEL’S NEGLIGENCE!!!
And get this, do you wanna know how many Sabbath years there are inside of a 430-year time span?
EXACTLY 70 SABBATH YEARS!
Holy Kentucky Fried Chicken with a side order of pineapple biscuits!!!
My goodness God’s Word is so true!
Per the Lord’s audit, due to Israel just blowing off the commands and regulations pertaining to the Sabbath years, the Lord engineered history so that the land would be repaid those years it was deprived.
And of course, it was inevitable this would happen, because as I just said, the Sabbath laws pertaining to the land are a fundamental part of the Universe we live in, the Universe that YHWH created.
The takeaway here is awesome!
We might be able to postpone the consequences for disobeying God’s laws for a time, but you had better believe, eventually, the consequences will catch up with us.
Because God’s laws are simply built in to the very fabric of this universe we live in.
Man, I don’t know about you, but after this post, I’m feeling much more resolute to study and OBEY God’s Word to the best of my understanding.