The Year of Shemitah

shimetah image“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts.”—Deuteronomy 15:1

We are familiar with the concept of every seventh day of the week being set apart as a Sabbath.  The ancient Israelites were commanded to honor the Lord and rest from all regular work and activities on this holy day.

But did you know there is also a Sabbath year?  Every seventh year, God ordered a rest of the land and a release of all debts in the Sabbath year called Shemitah.

The Hebrew translation of Shemitah is “to release.” The principle of Shemitah began over 3,000 years ago when the Lord told Moses, “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” (Leviticus 25:3-4). He also ordered the release of all debts (Deuteronomy 15:1).

Rabbis cite examples of ancient faithful farmers who observed Shemitah and were blessed with larger crops the following year—a natural consequence of allowing the land to rest and of obeying the Lord.

The Shemitah years were meant to be a blessing for God’s people. As soon as the early Jews settled in the Holy Land, they began to observe the seven-year cycle. But they fell away from God and ignored the seventh-year Sabbaths for 490 years. Soon the blessings of Shemitah turned to judgment.

In 586 BC, the nation of Israel was destroyed.  The Temple was devastated, the land burned, and the people were taken captive to Babylon, where they lamented and waited for 70 years.

Why 70 years?  To repay the 70 Shemitah years they had failed to observe for 490 years.  The land was given an enforced rest until their return. The principles of Shemitah had determined the timing of judgment.

The next Shemitah year on the Jewish calendar began on the Feast of Trumpets this year, September 24, 2014, and continues until September 2015. Interestingly, this Shemitah is bracketed by blood moons.

As we learn more about God’s plans for His people, we can observe this Shemitah year by turning to the Lord and seeking safety and blessing in His loving care! I pray that this will be such a year for you and your loved ones.

To learn more about the Shemitah year and what it could mean to the future of our nation, I recommend this book:  TheMystery of the Shemitah by Jonathan Cahn

shemitah book

 

The Year of Shemitah

shimetah image“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts.”—Deuteronomy 15:1

We are familiar with the concept of every seventh day of the week being set apart as a Sabbath.  The ancient Israelites were commanded to honor the Lord and rest from all regular work and activities on this holy day.

But did you know there is also a Sabbath year?  Every seventh year God ordered a rest of the land and a release of all debts in the Sabbath year called Shemitah.

The Hebrew translation of Shemitah is “to release.” The principle of Shemitah began over 3,000 years ago when the Lord told Moses, “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” (Leviticus 25:3-4). He also ordered the release of all debts (Deuteronomy 15:1).

Rabbis cite examples of ancient faithful farmers who observed Shemitah and were blessed with larger crops the following year—a natural consequence of allowing the land to rest and of obeying the Lord.

The Shemitah years were meant to be a blessing for God’s people. As soon as the early Jews settled in the Holy Land, they began to observe the seven-year cycle. But they fell away from God and ignored the seventh-year Sabbaths for 490 years. Soon the blessings of Shemitah turned to judgment.

In 586 BC, the nation of Israel was destroyed.  The Temple was devastated, the land burned, and the people were taken captive to Babylon, where they lamented and waited for 70 years.

Why 70 years?  To repay the 70 Shemitah years they had failed to observe for 490 years.  The land was given an enforced rest until their return. The principles of Shemitah had determined the timing of judgment.

The next Shemitah year on the Jewish calendar began on the Feast of Trumpets this year, September 24, 2014, and continues until September 2015. Interestingly, this Shemitah is bracketed by blood moons.

As we learn more about God’s plans for His people, we can observe this Shemitah year by turning to the Lord and seeking safety and blessing in His loving care! I pray that this will be such a year for you and your loved ones.

To learn more about the Shemitah year and what it could mean to the future of our nation, I recommend this book:  TheMystery of the Shemitah by Jonathan Cahn

shemitah book

 

Devotional: Learning to Fly

Eagle 15Deuteronomy 32: 10-11:  “In a desert land He found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.”

A mother eagle builds her nest on top of a mountain, usually on an unreachable crag jutting out of a cliff that oversees a chasm, thousands of feet below.

After the eagle builds a sturdy, safe nest, she feathers it.  She cushions it for her babies to make it comfortable and cozy.  When her eagles are hatched, she spends the first weeks feeding them, sheltering them, keeping them nestled and safe.

In this happy setting, they grow fat and strong.  Soon they’re wrestling around in the nest, elbowing each other for room, fighting to be first at the food. Wise mom knows it is time to disturb the nest.

Little by little, she starts pulling out the soft and cushy things.  The eaglets must wonder, “What’s with Mom?” as their nest begins to prickle and poke them. It’s not so comfortable anymore.  So, they start working their way up from the bottom of the nest, trying to get away from mom’s antics, until they find themselves near the edge.

Wow!  What a big world out there!  They peek out at the horizon.  It looks interesting, so they venture a little higher until they are perched right on the edge.  Suddenly Mom comes up from behind, thrusts out her strong beak and pushes one little eaglet over the edge.

Well, at this point our little hero is convinced that mom is crazy.  He’s falling and falling, apparently plunging to his death. Fighting the currents in the wind, vainly flapping his baby wings, tumbling around out there in the middle of the air, scared to death.

Then, right before he hits bottom, Mom swoops down with her big powerful wings and catches him, carrying him up, up, up back to the safety of the nest—until next time.

Over and over the eaglet tries to escape the new thorniness and prickliness of his nest.  As he climbs toward the perch, mom sneaks up once again and pushes him out, and again he falls.  Each time, she catches him, but she knows that one day she won’t need to.  Each time he falls, his flapping at the wind gets stronger and more sure.  Finally the day comes when he is capable of flying on is own, soaring on the wind and learning to navigate by himself.

Eagle sunAnd do you know how eagles navigate?  By the sun.  They look to the light for their guidance.

777 An Urgent Call to Prayer – Day Two

DAY TWO

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation…that you may know…what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe….” —Ephesians 1:17–19

May we seek God’s power poured out through His Word, praying to be empowered by His spirit of wisdom and revelation. Let us pray with wisdom and compassion for these perilous times, both in America and abroad.



Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive all
WEALTH

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers
by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has
appointed Heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.”
Hebrews 1:1-2

  • We worship You, Lord Jesus Christ, as the Father’s only begotten Son, the One to whom the Father has given everything. You are His Heir of all things. You made the world at Creation, You bought it at Calvary, and it’s Your right to own and rule it…and us. You hold the world in the palm of Your hand, yet You are the same One who sees when a sparrow falls.  The same One who clothes the lilies of the field. The same One who fed 5000 hungry men and their families with five loaves and two fish. You have promised to meet all our needs according to the riches of Your glory, because You are Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord Our Provider.
  • I worship You as _______________
  • We repent of hoarding our own wealth when You have freely given us all things.
  • We repent of our greed that has run up trillions of dollars of national debt.
  • We repent of closing our eyes and ears to the needs of others around us because we want more for ourselves.
  • We repent of allowing the material blessings You have given us to deceive us into thinking we don’t need You.
  • We repent of feeling entitled to and demanding what someone else has earned, instead of taking responsibility for ourselves and our families as we trust You.
  • We repent of living as though material wealth and prosperity will bring happiness.
  • We repent of being consumed with worry over our financial, material needs as though You are not sufficient for all things.
  • I repent of___________
  • We choose to give You all that we have and all that we own, not just 10%.  We trust You to give us, in return, our next breath and to supply, not everything we want, but everything we need.
  • I choose now to__________
  • We ask You to reveal to us the debt we owe You so that we can sincerely acknowledge it, then forgive us as we forgive our debtors.
  • We ask that You open our eyes to the spiritual as well as the material needs of others, and use us to act on Your behalf to meet those needs.
  • We ask that You give us a fresh vision of Your power and wealth, so that we would be encouraged as we look forward to the Home You are preparing for us.
  • We ask that You give us courage to see, believe and live in the Light of eternity, so that we resist the attractiveness of temptation, sin, selfishness and evil and abandon ourselves to Your will.
  • I humbly ask that________

FOR YOUR GLORY,
AMEN

777 An Urgent Call to Prayer

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We are joining Anne Graham Lotz in an urgent call to prayer, for seven days, July 1–7. You can sign up here to receive a daily email devotional: http://maranathachapel.org/events/777–an-urgent-call-to-prayer/accept-the-challenge

Please pray with us!

 

Day 1

“And Asa cried to the LORD his God, ‘O LORD, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, you are our God.  Let not man prevail against you.’” —2 Chronicles 14:11

May we cry out in faith to the LORD JESUS for our nation and the world, as Asa did! 
To the God of the Angel Armies!

Pastor Ray

 

Praying with Anne…

 Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,

to receive all POWER

 

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.  With justice He judges and makes war.  His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns…on His robe and on His thigh He has this name written:  King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

– Revelation 19:11-12, 16

  • We worship You, Lord Jesus Christ, as the Lamb who was slain, but who is now enthroned at the center of the Universe as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, soon to return in power and glory.  You are Jesus, who calmed the stormy seas with just a word.  You turned water into wine.  You created sight in a man born blind. You raised the dead. You are the same One who set the boundaries for the oceans. The same One who hung the stars in space and calls them all by name. The same One who strides the winds of the earth so that the clouds are the dust of Your feet.
  • I worship You as ___________
  • We repent of complaining as we wring our hands in despair, thinking our nation and our world are falling apart when they are really falling into place—right at Your feet.
  • We repent of striving to control our own destiny, or our church’s ministry, or our nation’s priorities so that they conform to our standards and agenda.
  • We repent of caring more about what our neighbor says, than what You say; of being more afraid of what our employer or government official thinks, than what You think; of grasping earthly position to gain earthly power.
  • We repent of being so intimidated by the opinions of others that we are silent and do not boldly proclaim who You are.
  • I repent of ___________
  • We choose to surrender our lives to Your power and authority, in utter moment-by-moment dependence on your moment-by-moment control.
  • I choose now to ____________
  • We ask that You would manifest Your power in such a way that we, Your people, would stop pointing our finger at others, and instead fall on our faces in repentance of our own sin; that the church would wake up in its relationship with You and wake up to the urgency of the times in which we live; and that our nation’s attention would once again be so fixed on You that it would return to the faith of our founding fathers.
  • We ask that Your power would permeate our lives, our churches and our nation; that in the light of Your presence, evil spirits would flee; that Your strong arm would protect us from the encroaching evil and deliver us.
  • I humbly ask that _____________

 

FOR YOUR GLORY,

AMEN

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