The year of release
📖 Deuteronomy 15:1-18
📝 DEBTS CANCELLATION : We the Indians are aware of this term – Debts Cancellation for the Farmers before the elections. It is hard for me to make a point here, whether such declaration comes out of a genuine thoughts or with a selfish motives.
📌 However, centuries back – a law was laid down “at the end of every seven years you must cancel debts “(15:1-2). Here Moses was speaking of a complete cancellation of a debt owed by a fellow Israelite (v 9).
Ideally there would be no poor among the Israelites, for the Lord would bless them with all they needed if they obeyed him (v 4-6). However, Moses acknowledged that there would always be some who were poor (v 11)
📌 Moses urged the Israelites not to look down on the poor for their poverty, but were to generously lend them whatever they needed to get out of poverty (v 7-8).
📌 Moses commanded them to be openhanded towards their brothers (v 8,11).
📝 RELEASE OF SLAVES : Debts were to be forgiven every seventh Calendar Year (v 1), but what was to be done about individuals who had sold themselves into slavery in order to be able to pay some crippling debt ?
📌 Moses decreed that no Israelite should be a slave for more than six years. A slave should be allowed to go free(v 2)
💕 Beloved Church, today Christians should neither own slaves nor be involved in the slave trade. But many of us have employees who works in our businesses or in our homes. We have a Christian responsibilities to show kindness and generosity.
📝 HOME COMING : According to Leviticus 25 every 50 years – a Sabbath of Sabbath, the year after seven sevens the land was to have a rest from cultivation. There was a home coming in which family land that had been forfeited was to be returned 🙌
📌 Debts were cancelled.
📌 Slaves were to be set free.
📌 Proclamation of liberty.
IS THIS PASSAGE RELEVANT TODAY
Today’s passage sets out seven principles that should govern our own response to human need:
1) We are to be in solidarity with the needy among us.
2) We are to help the needy because God commands us to do so. “.. He hears the cries of the needy… and failure to respond to these cries is a sin”v 9b
3) We can expect God to bless those who help the poor (v 10; Acts 20:35)
4) We should acknowledge that all we have is from God and that He has been generous to us.
5) We should practice generosity (.. be openhanded.. v 11)
6) Discern before you give / help the needy (“.. lend him whatever he needs “v 8)
7) Remember giving is a memorial offering (Acts 10:4)
💞 Beloved Church, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law”. ✒ Rom 13:8
Glory to God 🙏
✍🏽 Mark Boje
Arunachal Pradesh, India 🇮🇳