The idea behind the sabbatical year remains fixed in the minds and hearts of the Jewish people wherever they may live. And that basic idea is simple: that the world and all its land belongs to and is subject to the will of the Creator.
Sefer Vayikra was given during Bnei Yisrael’s period in the desert. It is therefore telling that the Torah already relates as a given fact the situation in which they are working the fields of Eretz Yisrael, suspending work during Shemitta and Yovel, and following the rules of transactions regarding real estate in the Land among other financial matters.
Who must initiate the redemption of Israel? Will it be G-D through blatant miracles, or will the Jewish people gradually awaken to return home? The Or Hachaim answers that question based on this week's Torah reading.
After the seventh in a series of Shemitta cycles, Bnei Yisrael, in the time that “all its inhabitants” are in Eretz Yisrael, are commanded in the laws of Yovel (Vayikra 25:8-13). There are three main halachot: Jewish slaves are set free (ibid. 10); the land is not worked, as in the previous Shemitta year (ibid. 11); fields that were sold are returned to their original owner (ibid. 13).
In explaining the mitzva of yovel, the Torah says that the Land will not be sold for eternity and finishes up that this is related to the concept that we are “foreigners and citizens with Me” (Vayikra 25:23). The connection to “with Me” appears to be as follows: If you treat Me like one who fully belongs, then you fully belong; if you treat Me as an outsider, you too will be like outsiders.