“‘If one of your fellow Israelites becomes poor and sells some of their property, their nearest relative is to come and redeem what they have sold. If, however, there is no one to redeem it for them but later on they prosper and acquire sufficient means to redeem it themselves, they are to determine the value for the years since they sold it and refund the balance to the one to whom they sold it; they can then go back to their own property. But if they do not acquire the means to repay, what was sold will remain in the possession of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee. It will be returned in the Jubilee, and they can then go back to their property.
“‘Anyone who sells a house in a walled city retains the right of redemption a full year after its sale. During that time the seller may redeem it. If it is not redeemed before a full year has passed, the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to the buyer and the buyer’s descendants. It is not to be returned in the Jubilee. But houses in villages without walls around them are to be considered as belonging to the open country. They can be redeemed, and they are to be returned in the Jubilee.
- Leviticus 25:25-31
This is what the Lord my God says: “Shepherd the flock marked for slaughter. Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the Lord, I am rich!’ Their own shepherds do not spare them. For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” declares the Lord. “I will give everyone into the hands of their neighbors and their king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue anyone from their hands.”
- Zechariah 11:4-6
Do you know the expression “Do not look a gift horse in the mouth”? The idea is that a thoroughbred has a tattooed number inside its mouth. Is the number a fake or does it even have a number?
Sorry, we looked.
My wife wants to have a house of her own. She is tired of things breaking and then not wanting to tell the landlady in fear that the landlady will kick us out of the house since we are paying less than the full rent after I “retired.” I keep explaining that the landlady agreed to the lesser amount, and she would lose a lot more money while fixing up an unrented house before the next renters moved in. But my wife has been jittery lately anyway.
That is when someone offered us a gift house instead of a gift horse. If we lived under Levitical law, some of what is mentioned above might apply, sort of, maybe.
My wife has a brother who is about to go into a nursing home. There are a variety of reasons for this move, but the only asset that he has to offer is the home that he shared with his mother, and he inherited upon her passing. Everyone in the family would love to see it stay in the family, but now it must stay in the family. Once he passes away, the house must be sold so that MEDICAID can recoup some of their money that they have paid for him staying at the nursing home.
Thus, we were asked to be the renters. We would only have to pay the taxes, insurance, and utilities.
On the financial side, it would save us a lot of money each month. If one of us passed away, the other could probably still make ends meet. And the grandchildren might visit more, with us not far from the beach. And she would have sisters visiting all the time.
But the laundry list of negatives is a mile long. My wife would still not have a house of her own. She wants to be near the grandchildren, not four hours closer, making it a full day’s drive instead of a day and a half. And we would move from a hilltop to a low spot in a flood plain, at least the house has flooded a couple of times at least. And the area seems to have a target painted over it saying, “Hurricanes welcome here.” And the sisters visiting all the time means we would have to keep up the house cleaning, which gets harder each year.
And the worst of it is that if her brother passes away before we do, we will be in our 70s and homeless.
Sorry, we turned down the offer. Let me clarify that. My wife turned down the offer.
I do not think the local laws call for any Jubilee Year forgiveness programs. No, it is more the Zechariah concept of the rich getting what they can get, but it does not matter. The end is inevitable anyway. We will all be letting someone else cart our stuff to the dumpster after we are gone.
While we hold out hope that we can be with our grandchildren some day soon, our health and our finances are in God’s hands.
God has provided our needs, but we might need a little more in many ways if we make any move at all.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.