The number “50” is significant in the Bible and in our lives. We count fifty days until Pentecost. There were many measurements of fifty in the instructions for the Tabernacle. Most significantly, the blowing of the trumpet to proclaim the Jubilee, the year of release, was done on the Day of Atonement, initiating the consecration of the fiftieth year (Leviticus 25:8-17).
Freedom was proclaimed on this fiftieth year, land returned to the original owners, and slaves and servants were released from their obligations. The Jubilee favored the poor without injustice to the rich, giving unfortunate families the opportunity for a fresh start.
This proclamation of release is alluded to in the book of Isaiah, and Jesus Himself, as Liberator, read these words at the beginning of His ministry:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…,” Isaiah 61:1, NKJV.
We were once held captive by the god of this world but are now set free through Jesus’ sacrifice. He then calls on us to take up the same mission He has: to give hope to the world’s hopeless. We have every reason to succeed in our incredible calling and opportunity for God’s Kingdom!
In a Psalm written by Moses, we learn that the reasonable expectation of our life span is 70 or 80 years (Psalm 90:10). In the Bible, adulthood comes at age twenty. Therefore during the next fifty years of adult accountability, we have to do all that must be accomplished. Fifty years, on average, to learn to live as God lives and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
“Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath,” Psalm 90:11.
The fear of God is that awe and reverence for Him leads to understanding and ordering our lives according to His will. Most people live for the pleasures of the moment, unconcerned that sin separates them from God.
Indeed, once at an airport, a man stood right in front of me, pushing and preaching a lifestyle that was terribly sinful. What he was engaged in was adding nothing of value to his life and broke God’s law. When I confronted him, he told me that was God’s problem, not his.
Moses must have seen that by repeatedly opposing God’s law and will, the children of Israel brought no lasting value to their lives. God inspired Moses to include this admonition in Psalm 90:
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom,” Psalm 90:12.
On our own, we don’t have the ability to conduct proper self-evaluation. We must ask God for help. With whatever time we have remaining, we are to develop godly character.
God’s will in our lives must be respected and valued because only He can show us the way to the true and ultimate meaning of life. Jesus Christ is our Savior, Redeemer, and Jubilee, and it is up to us to repent and enjoy the liberty He gives us as the first fruits, the early harvest of God’s people!
By Jim Sampson