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the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 15

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-23

Chapter 15

Chapter fifteen,

At the end of every seven years you're to make a release ( Deuteronomy 15:1 ).

All of the debts were to be forgiven in the seventh year. Now, you're not to demand it again after the seventh year; you're not to ask for it again except for a foreigner or a stranger. Then you can demand it from them. But of the children of Israel it had to be totally forgiven.

Now, also if it were, say, the sixth year, the seventh year was coming up very soon and some guy says, "Oh, I'd like to borrow some money" you shouldn't think in your mind, "Oh, this is the sixth year, I don't want to loan it to him because it will be forgiven in eight months, you know." He said don't figure that way. If he's poor, go ahead and give it to him. Now God is very interested in the welfare of the poor and that we be interested in the welfare of the poor. And here is protecting the poor. And if a poor man comes to you and he's wanting help you're not to think "Oh, this is close to the seventh year. I don't want to give it". That's wrong thinking God says. Go ahead and loan it to him anyhow and then forgive it.

Now in Proverbs we read, "He who lendeth unto the poor lendeth unto the LORD" ( Proverbs 19:17 ), and I think that's a good thing to remember. Rather than exacting the debts from the poor, just say, "Well, I loaned to the Lord and the Lord will repay". Now I like loaning money to God. I think he pays fantastic interest. "And he who lendeth unto the poor lendeth unto the LORD" because God takes the cause of the poor. God takes up the cause of the poor every time and God is very interested in the poor of the land because they're gonna always be with us. In verse eleven, "The poor shall never cease out". You're always gonna have poor people. Jesus said, "The poor you have with you always"( Matthew 26:11 ). He was quoting here from Deuteronomy. There'll always be poor, and thus, we should always have a heart and a concern for the poor.

Now if you bought a slave who was a Hebrew, man or woman, then they were to serve you for six years but in the seventh year you had to set them free.

And you shall not send them out empty: But give them liberally from your flock, and from your store, from your winepress... : because you're to remember that you were a slave once in Egypt ( Deuteronomy 15:13-15 ),

Now, if you have a slave and the seventh year came up and it's time for him to be set free and he comes to you and says, "Hey, I like it here. You're a good boss. I've got good security and I just enjoy working for you and I don't want to be free. I want to remain your slave". Then you were to take him and you were to take an awl and you were drive it through his ear and you were to pin his ear to the doorpost of your house. And that signified a bondslave by choice. They'd usually then put the gold ring in the ear so that the gold ring in the earlobe was a sign that a man was a slave by choice. He had made his own free choice to be a slave for life. And that was the sign of it; the golden ring in the ear, "I am a slave by choice for life". Once you had made that decision then you would never be set free but you had that choice, you could make it. If you loved your master, you wanted to serve him you'd say, "Well, I don't want to leave. I love serving you, working for you" and so the little ritual of piercing your ear with the awl, pinning it to the post and thus the slave for life.

Now, this is the kind of bondslave that we have become of Jesus Christ. Paul a duloy, an apostle, a bondslave of Jesus Christ. But it's by choice. "Lord, I love serving you. I want to serve you. I don't want to do anything but serve you. I wanna serve you for life." A bondslave of Jesus Christ, what a neat thing it is to be a bondslave of the Lord, serve Him for life by choice. He didn't force me. It was my choice. I chose to serve him for life. And so there is a beautiful parallel as you read it there from the sixteenth chapter or sixteenth verse, twenty-fifth verse of the bondslave servant by choice, servant for life, the perpetual service.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/deuteronomy-15.html. 2014.
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