The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land I am giving you, the land will observe a Sabbath to the Lord. You may sow your field for six years, and you may prune your vineyard and gather its produce for six years. But there will be a Sabbath of complete rest for the land in the seventh year, a Sabbath to the Lord: you are not to sow your field or prune your vineyard. You are not to reap what grows by itself from your crop, or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. It must be a year of complete rest for the land. Whatever the land produces during the Sabbath year can be food for you—for yourself, your male or female slave, and the hired hand or foreigner who stays with you. All of its growth may serve as food for your livestock and the wild animals in your land.
You are to count seven sabbatical years, seven times seven years, so that the time period of the seven sabbatical years amounts to 49. Then you are to sound a trumpet loudly in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month; you will sound it throughout your land on the Day of Atonement. You are to consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim freedom in the land for all its inhabitants. It will be your Jubilee, when each of you is to return to his property and each of you to his clan. The fiftieth year will be your Jubilee; you are not to sow, reap what grows by itself, or harvest its untended vines. It is to be holy to you because it is the Jubilee; you may only eat its produce directly from the field. (Leviticus 25:1-12)
The 7th year Sabbath and 50th year Jubilee were to be a time of liberation, restoration, and celebration. However, there is no record that shows Israel EVER observed the Jubilee year or the 7 year sabbatical years, according to their Law. The children of Israel were not faithful to God. For 490 years they refused to allow their land to rest during the Sabbaticals. Because of their disobedience, God allowed the children of Israel to be taken captive to Babylon for 70 years. While they were in Babylon the land back in Canaan enjoyed its 70 Sabbath years of rest.
Why did the Israelite kings refuse to obey the law of Sabbath rest for the land and the people? It is purely economics. It is just not economical to let the land lie unused for a period of one year when harvests can be gathered year in and year out. They did not trust the Lord’s provision, and thought that they would suffer financially and materially.
The Coronavirus plague is the Lord’s judgement for rampant sin, including idolatry, abortion, corruption, greed, divorce, gay pride, and pornography.
This pandemic is forcing a domino effect – a chain reaction – of inevitable cascading events that could lead to a global “Year of Jubilee.”
Virus death toll passes 20,000, three billion under lockdown / AFP, March 25, 2020
More than three billion people around the world were living under lockdown on Wednesday as governments stepped up their efforts against the coronavirus pandemic which has left more than 20,000 people dead.
As Armies Reassess Risk, Coronavirus Is Making Peace in the Middle East / Haaretz, March 27, 2020
The virus could hasten the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, while Turkish-Syrian clashes in Idlib subside.
What politics in Iraq couldn’t do, the coronavirus has. After the Iraqi parliament decided to demand that the U.S. withdraw its forces from Iraq and the Americans rejected that demand, this week the Pentagon decided to scale down the number of U.S. troops in the country to reduce the risk of contagion.
Inmates Going Free Over Virus Fears Spark Renewed Anti-Jail Push / Bloomberg Law March 26, 2020
Last week, Los Angeles County freed one of every 10 prisoners from the largest U.S. jail system because of coronavirus fears. Among those were shoplifters, minor drug dealers, prostitutes and vandals awaiting trial or with fewer than 30 days left on their sentences.
The county is one of dozens of localities freeing nonviolent inmates to minimize the risk of widespread viral outbreaks behind bars. Now, with jail populations already in a slow decline, reform advocates say releasing thousands may help spur longer-term changes in who needs to be incarcerated in America.
“Mass incarceration continues to be a huge crisis in the United States, and potentially due to the Covid-19 crisis we will see governors, state lawmakers and the president pay more attention,” said Udi Ofer, director of the justice division at the American Civil Liberties Union.
But the U.S. still has 20% of the world’s inmates, compared with less than 5% of the population, the ACLU said. And Trump himself signaled he may have questions about the releases. On Tuesday, the president retweeted conservative commentator Tomi Lahren’s comment: “So we are all basically on house arrest but they are letting the prisoners out? Sounds like a brilliant idea.”
U.S. Orders Up To A Yearlong Break On Mortgage Payments / NPR, March 19, 2020
Homeowners who have lost income or their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak are getting some relief. Depending on their situation, they should be eligible to have their mortgage payments reduced or suspended for up to 12 months.
Federal regulators, through the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are ordering lenders to offer homeowners flexibility. The move covers about half of all home loans in the U.S. — those guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie. But regulators expect that the entire mortgage industry will quickly adopt a similar policy.
Under the plan, people who have suffered a loss of income can qualify to make reduced payments or be granted a complete pause in payments.
Coronavirus fallout revives talk of ‘universal basic income’ / AFP, March 25, 2020
Stockton (United States) (AFP) – The scoffed-at idea of paying everyone a basic income as machines take people’s jobs is getting a fresh look as a possible remedy for economies cratered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Lambasted until recently as too costly or too “socialist,” paying people for simply being alive and trusting they will be productive has new support as jobs vanish.
The massive recovery package being considered in the US Congress to offset the tremendous hit to the economy would move a step closer toward idea of a “universal basic income.”
“I haven’t always been a fan of universal income,” said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“But, its irresistible virtue is its simplicity. It gets money to individuals in need, and out into the wider economy, more quickly than any other alternative.”
G-20 group led by Saudi Arabia pledges to inject $5 trillion in fight against coronavirus / Arab News, March 28, 2020
Leaders of the G-20 group of advanced and emerging economies agreed on Thursday to unite their efforts against the global threat of the coronavirus. “We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat,” the group said in a final statement following a video conference. They also agreed to inject $5 trillion into the global economy “as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic.” Saudi Arabia, which became the first Arab country to take over the G-20 presidency in December, called for the virtual summit of the group to put forward a coordinated set of policies to protect people and safeguard the global economy.
“The G20 is committed to do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic, along with the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, United Nations and other international organizations, working within their existing mandates. We are determined to spare no effort, both individually and collectively,” the leaders said.
The “new normal” is that most economic activity could be shut down for an extended period during this time of de-facto martial law. Society really just depends on a few jobs in order to continue functioning at the bare minimum, such as grocery store and pharmacy employees, bank clerks, healthcare professionals, food service workers, farmers, and truckers.
While the world is in lockdown, we are witnessing the forced ceasing of war, captives are being set free, people are being released from debt, and the redistribution of wealth.
Given the scale of the global economic collapse that was catalyzed by the world’s uncoordinated response to COVID-19, it’s foreseeable that governments will unveil what’s been described as a “universal basic income” in order to ensure that their people can continue to at least purchase basic goods and services.
For many of us, our new “job” is to repent and rest:
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it. (Isaiah 30:15)
It seems the opposite of what we want to do, which is to fanatically run around and solve the problem, but repenting and resting is exactly what the Lord requires.
Interestingly, Jesus declared that His ministry fulfilled the Jubilee, the “year of the Lord’s favor.”
He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. As usual, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,
because He has anointed Me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent Me
to proclaim freedom to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. He began by saying to them, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.” (Luke 4:16-21)
This year could be the grand Jubilee we have all been expecting. As Jesus began His ministry with the Jubilee, it is fitting that He could cap off this Jubilee with the Rapture for His bride.
For most of the world, it will end in utter destruction. But we have hope:
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. (Psalm 33:12)
Join us, before it is too late:
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)
The Lord tells us:
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”