The history of the Jewish festival of Jubilee is found in Leviticus 25. This observance begins with the Lord's command that Israel allow the land to rest from cultivation every seventh year. The seventh year was to be a sabbath year, in which the land would lie fallow. During that year, the people were to do no planting, picking of fruit or harvesting of any kind: "Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard" (Leviticus 25:3-4).

God was literally shutting down all agricultural activity for an entire year. That meant Israel would have to live for that period without any visible means of support. They would have to put their lives completely into God's hands, trusting Him for all supplies.

Of course, this required a lot of faith. Think about it: For an entire year there would be no intake of crops for food . . . no harvest of grain to feed cattle . . . no work for farmers . . . no labor for vineyard keepers. Most Christians today would panic after only a week of this, much less a year. Indeed, the Israelites wondered: "What are we going to do for food during the seventh year? How will we feed our families, our cattle? We'll use up everything we have in the sixth year, just prior to the sabbath year. Are we supposed to sit idly by while our children go hungry? Does God really expect us to watch the grapes rot on the vine? "

Yet God had a clear purpose in commanding a sabbath year for the land. It was meant to reveal His faithfulness to His people. "If ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years" (verses 20-21).

What an incredible promise! God was guaranteeing Israel a triple harvest (see verse 22): "If you will just step out in faith and trust Me, I will give you a harvest during the sixth year that will provide you with enough provisions for three years."

I believe the Lord is saying something important here. And that is, no matter what our circumstances, He always provides for those who trust and obey Him.