hebrew roots teaching shemitah rabbi messer

Shemitah the year of Release

Is there a word today in American churches more threatening than shemitah?

Why has this time brought such fear into the hearts of many? Since the tragic day of 9/11, pulpits nationwide have obsessed with this and other signs that this generation is living in the “last days”. These “world shaking events” suggest that we are living in “prophetic and troubling times”. It seems that at the mere mention of the word ‘shemitah’ all we hear is doom and destruction. Is that what God is saying?

I say “No!” God is not out for divine retribution, but for release and restoration of His chosen people. The warnings and lessons of history bring to light what God has done in previous shemitah cycles. God does not determine our future from our past but, rather, our future is determined by a heart of repentance and obedience to the very Word of God.

The appointed feasts of God, and the shemitah – an appointed time of rest and restoration – are designed to bring us, His people, freedom, prosperity, and success in our world as we take Torah to the nations. The feasts of the Lord and the Lord’s shemitah were not dismissed with the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. They are as relevant today as they were 3500 years ago.

We find that the shemitah is really our release from indebtedness and bondage. The signs in the heavens are only an indication that God is still present in the world and in the lives of His people. Even in our times of trouble and in these tribulation events, God is ever the same. He never changes. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Lord, your mercies never fail; they are renewed every morning: great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

As in the day when God presented us the Torah of life He again gives us the choice: will we choose life or death?