Title: Staying Free

Focus: God instituted things such as the Sabbaths, Sabbath years, and Jubilee to teach us the we need to take some time for the purpose rejuvination otherwise we will wind up in bondage once again.

Function: To motivate the hearers to take time for retreat with God and or family

Text: Lev 15:1-7; 25:8-28

1.  Story of goldfish being sent free
	a.  Amanda got goldfish, swam happily in circles
	b.  Went to lake, decided to set it free.  Put bowl in water
	c.  Came back later, still in bowl, Turned upside down to let it out
	d.  Still swam in same circle that had been its life - and its prison
2.  That can happen to God’s people, sets them free, but they enslaved selves
	a.  God provided means to help them stay free - Torah
	b.  Law not enslave (Rom 7) - Sin does
3.  Text will show how principles of Sabbath and Jubilee prevent slavery

I.  Prevents slavery to prosperity (Lev 15:1-7) 
	A.  Would think - If I just was propserous enough I be free
		1.  So many work hard and become very prosperous
		2.  But in doing this, can wind up becoming slave to prosperity
	B.  Qohelet (“The preacher”) experienced this
		1.  He tried to be very prosperous
			a.  (Eccl 2:18-23) - Had no “rest” even though rich
			b.  (Eccl 4:4-8) - No rest (v.6)
		2.  God’s people had no rest when enslaved in Egypt
		3.  (Dt 5:12-15) - God delivered them & gave Sabbath
			a.  Purpose - Remember how you a slave in Egypt
			b.  God now free you and give you Sabbath
			c.  God had to COMMAND it!
		4.  God did not want them to become their own taskmasters
	C.  ILL:  We like periodically to take a vacation
		1.  Been to Atlantic, White Mountains, New York, Mt Rushmore
		2.  Many of you like to take time off
		3.  May come back feeling physically refreshed
		4.  However, may still be spiritually exhausted
	D.  The rest God commanded was not merely self-centered rest
		1.  Pause from work - Rest and rememberance
			a.  Rest and rememberance went hand in hand
			b.  Nearly all festivals involved day of rest
			c.  Also involved a holy assembly
			d.  They were to remember what God had done for them
		2.  God not free them so they be self-centered, but serve God
		3.  So, I am advocating rest and rememberance
			a.  This usually means “retreat”
			b.  Time time off to retreat, remember, refocus, recharge
		4.  Strongly encourage you go to a retreat - reconnect with 1st love

II.  Prevent Slavery to Debt (Lev 25:8-11, 25-28) 
	A.  This prevented both slavery to prosperity and to debt
		1.  Can buy up all property, but it reverts back eventually
		2.  For poor & those sold to slavery - not permanent
	B.  Problem - They did not observe this (Jer 34:12-17)
		1.  (Isa 5:8) - Woe to those who join house to house, field to feild
		      until there is no more room
		2.  Insisted on slavery, the very thing God delivered them from
		3.  Therefore, God let them go back into bondage - Babylon
		4.  God’s kingdom was to be a place of freedom, not bondage
	C.  That’s why Jesus uses image of Jubilee to announce kingdom Lk 4:18
		1.  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he annointed me to preach the
	            Gospel to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim releast to the captives, 
		    and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who 
		       are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
		2.  Col 2:14 - Cancelled the certificate of debt against us
		3.  Jesus brought our Jubilee to us, our freedom
		4.  How do we live out this freedom?
	D.  Same as it was in the old kingdom
		1.  (Lev 25:35-38) - Take care of each other 
			- Gal 6:1 - Bear one another’s burdens
		2.  (Lev 25:39-43) - Be loving and gentle
		3.  Mt 18:23 - Parable of unjust servant
			- God forgave our debt, so we need to also be forgiving

III.  Prevent Slavery to worry (25:18-23) 
	A.  If I do it Go’ds way, what will I have to eat?
	B.  God would provide, as he already has demonstrated
		1.  He demonstrated his provision with Manna
			a.  (Ex 16:4-5) - Gather manna 6 days, twice as much on 6th
			b.  (Ex 16:19-20) - Leave none left over till morning
			c.  (Ex 16:22-28) - Gather twice as much on 6th day
				- No manna on seventh day
				- God angry - they not trust Him
		2.  (Ex 16:29-30) - God “gave them” the Sabbath
			a.  They no longer slaves
			b.  Don’t work, don’t worry, trust God
		3.  In same way, not to plant or harvest on Sabbath yr & Jubilee
			- God would provide more to sustain them
		4.  Worry prevented them
	C.  Worry is like Gasoline, Doubt is like a small fire
		1.  Something might spark a little doubt, worry feeds it
		2.  Worry cause doubt to grow and consume forest of faith
		3.  That leads to disobedience, which leads to loss of blessing
	D.  That is why Jesus said not to worry (Lk 12:21-31)
		1.  Worry and Doubt cause poverty toward God
		2.  Song:  “Drop in the Bucket”  (sung by children)

Concl:  God freed you, 
1.  Don’t become a slave, swimming around and around
	a.  ...in the bowl/prison of prosperity, debt, or worry
	b.  Freed to...to serve HIM!  Not the taskmaster of wealth, debt, prosperity
2.  Take time for retreat with self and with family - refocus, recharge, reprioritize
3.  Maybe time to repent