When I was a child they were called “do overs”. Later when I was older and played golf, we called them “mulligans”. A fresh start, a new beginning. In my journey through the scriptures for this year I am in Lev. 25 where God describes the year of “Jubilee”. “‘The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.” I guess you could call this, “God’s Do Over” program.
What intrigued me about this principle was not its result, but the reasoning behind the principle. There was a valuable lesson to be taught. The land did not belong to them, it belonged to God. They were simply aliens and tenants, not property owners. That is a hard lesson for us to learn. We have all heard lessons on stewardship and how what we have is given to us by God, but it is very difficult to live that belief. Those possessive pronouns permeate our speech and often betray our hearts — my house, our money, his car, her clothes, their stocks.
The year of Jubilee caused each generation to be reminded that it all belonged to God and was only on loan to them. Yes, it was a “do over” of sorts, but more importantly, it said to Israel, this world is not your home, you are just passing through. Don’t get too attached, we are not home yet.