Getting Around God’s Law

The Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their clever tactics of getting around God’s law. “But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (Mt. 15:3-6). Israel is still engaged in this terrible game. The law of God says, “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. And 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” (Leviticus 25:1-7, 20-22). (The sabbath year began on September 6, 2021, which is the year 5,782 on the Jewish calendar.) Instead of simply ceasing from farming in the sabbath year and trusting God to provide their needs, Israeli farmers have gone to the rabbis for help in artful disobedience. One tactic is to “symbolically relinquish ownership” to non-Jews for the sabbath year. Another tactic is to move the farming indoors to hothouses. The sabbath hothouses “are built under rabbinical supervision to ensure the plants have no contact with the soil” (“The farmers giving their land a year off,” Israel21c, Aug. 29, 2021). Nechemia Rappel, who was chairman of the Religious Kibbutz movement in 2007, said “Everyone understands that you cannot work for six years and then have no income on the seventh. A farmer cannot tell his customers in Israel and abroad that he is not working and that he’ll be back in a year” (“Bid to let land lie,” Forward, Aug. 29, 2007). Right, that is true if one is not trusting in Jehovah God.

(Friday Church News Notes, September 10, 2021,, 866-295-4143)