The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 6 March 2023 – Cohabitation Of The Rich And Poor
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TOPIC: Cohabitation Of The Rich And Poor
READ: Leviticus 25: 1-18 (NKJV)
- And the LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying,
- “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the LORD.
- ‘Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit;
- ‘but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.
- ‘What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, [for] it is a year of rest for the land.
- ‘And the sabbath [produce] of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you,
- ‘for your livestock and the beasts that [are] in your land — all its produce shall be for food.
- ‘ And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years.
- ‘Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth [day] of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.
- ‘And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.
- ‘That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather [the grapes] of your untended vine.
- ‘For it [is] the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.
- ‘ In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.
- ‘And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another.
- ‘According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you.
- ‘According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you [according] to the number [of the years] of the crops.
- ‘Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I [am] the LORD your God.
- ‘ So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety.
Our bible reading today reminds us of a time in Israel when some people were compelled to sell their ancestral possessions because of poverty and others were separated from their families in bond service. To this end, God charged them to hallow the year of Jubilee, in which each person was to return to his ancestral possession and to his family from where he was separated for bond service. This way, each man’s ancestral possession was preserved.
God’s people must be considerate, and merciful. 1 Timothy 6: 17 says, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. “Often times, when a brother is compelled to sell his property to us in order to meet his needs, we take advantage of his situation to cheat him. That is unrighteousness! Are there people who are owing you, who have nothing to pay their debt? Have you considered cancelling their debt, thereby releasing them? If you desire to dwell safely in the land and to enjoy the blessings of God, then you must be merciful to the poor. (read Psalm 41: 1-3). Also, the bargaining of landed properties must be done in righteousness, without cheating each other.
PRAYER: Help me Lord that to support the poor around me, so that Your nature of mercy will be portrayed through my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.