Deuteronomy 15

Deuteronomy 15 has God’s commands around generosity.  Moses begins reminding the people that every seven years, they are to forgive any debtors and set them free.  And because of that, they are not to be stingy and unwilling to loan or give to those in need.  It should not be an issue because God promises His blessing.  “But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess – if only you will strictly obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today”.

But we all know that people are people – always have been – always will be.  And some will squander whatever they have.  Does that mean we should not be caring for those people?  Absolutely not.  God still expects us to care for them.  “You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake”.  God expects us to share what we have with those in need, without expectation of being repaid.

Every seventh year, slaves were to be set free, another way that debt was removed.  In this time people were not to be tied up as debtors long term.  It was settled every seventh year.  That would certainly have the potential of slowing down the accumulation of debt.  If you knew that it was all going to be lost, or the people would be set free, it might slow down the effects.  God provided for His people.  They shouldn’t have needed to go into debt, but even so, He created a way for them to be set free.

Moses ends writing the rules for sacrifice.  The firstborn goes to God. Scripture is full of commands about how we are to give.  God gets His first.  The tithe or sacrifices are not what is left, but rather what is first.  God’s gift comes off the top before anything else.  His blessing returns its yield to Him first.  Whether money or crop or livestock or whatever we have – God’s tithe comes first.  When we get things right in God’s economy, good things happen.  We need to keep that in mind and be sure we put God where He belongs with our money and stuff!

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