Bible Study: Leviticus 23:3; 25:1–5

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God endows the whole of creation with dignity. According to this Old Testament text, even the land has the right to rest, and people should stop farming the land every seventh year (Sabbath year). Today, this does not have to be applied literally. This Bible study will explore the dignity of nonhuman creation and the way in which we endanger it.

Main Objectives

  • To reflect on the meaning and purpose of the Sabbath
  • To understand that the human exploitation of nature has deprived the land of its right to observe the Sabbath.
  1. Read Leviticus 23:3 out aloud to your teammates and reflect on it.
  2. Play a game, or dance, maybe with music. The group is in full movement. The leader slowly counts from 1 to 7.  At 7, all movement stops and there is complete silence for a long moment. Repeat this at least once.
  3. Participants sit down and share what they have felt and what makes the Sabbath important to them.
  4. Form groups of no more than six people. Read Leviticus 25:1–5 slowly in the group.

Reflect on the Following Questions

  • In what ways are we depriving the land (or other parts of nature) of its right to observe the Sabbath?
  • Are there ways in which human beings suffer because the land does not receive the Sabbath’s rest?
  • Why do we do that? What forces and desires are stronger than giving the land a rest?
  • What arguments could we use in order to support the right of the land?

Share with the other groups some of the insights you had while reading the text. Share with the other groups and, if possible, also on the blog, your ideas and arguments as to how we can give the land a rest.

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