25 The Lord spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai. He said, 2 “Tell the people of Israel this: ‘I will give you land. When you enter it, let it have a special time of rest. This will be to honor the Lord. 3 You may plant seed in your field for six years. You may trim your vineyards for six years and bring in their fruits. 4 But during the seventh year, you must let the land rest. This will be a special time to honor the Lord. You must not plant seed in your field or trim your vineyards. 5 You must not cut the crops that grow by themselves after harvest. You must not gather the grapes from your vines that are not trimmed. The land will have a year of rest.
6 “‘You may eat whatever the land produces during that year of rest. It will be food for your men and women servants. It will be food for your hired workers and the foreigners living in your country. 7 It will also be food for your cattle and the wild animals of your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.
The old testament has so many passages that can be fun to debate and wonder why they were relevant when included in the Bible. This passage about letting the land rest in the 7th year seems odd but recently when reading, it seemed more relevant.
There are images and videos of places all around the world where the environment is healing and visibly cleaner because of reduced movement and pollution from people. I wonder what a year of rest would look like for our current environment?
The passage also describes how people in that country are to eat what the land in their country produces. Is Moses telling the people that God wants them to eat local products for the 7th year? Do you think you could only eat locally grown foods for a year?
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the beautiful world that we live in! Amen.
Focus for the Day: God Says Eat Local?
Author: Rachel Dudley, Director of Children’s Ministry