As we proceed through the book of Deuteronomy in this study, we come to Deuteronomy 15, and the laws of remission.
Scripture and Summary
The reality of life is put on display: sometimes you have to borrow money to get by. Israelites were limited to a six year term for debts with the seventh year being a release year. Adherence to these laws came with a promise of having plenty to lend.
A caution against stinginess as the time for the release of debts comes near. The assurance here is that the generosity of the people of Israel in regards to the poorest among them is that God will provide against any perceived loss.
The harshness of life in the ancient world is given the clearest example here: a person so desperate that they sell the only thing that they have left just to survive: themselves. Here, the impoverished person is, at the end of his term of service, to be supplied with the basic minimum needed to start their life over again. However, the person is given the option to remain, not merely as a servant, but as a member of the family.
The life of the person whose life has been freed from slavery in sin should be one dedicated to generosity. It is commonly said that believers become conduits for the good gifts of God, not holding tanks. But there’s a greater emphasis here, a deeper spiritual emphasis that needs to be considered.
The ways of the ancient world seem alien to us. It seems strange that a person would sell themselves into servitude, that life would become so desperate that the only means of survival is to sell our being to another.
So many though have done just that. They’ve sold themselves to a lie that promised that it could provide for them. It’s a cruel master that continues to take from what it is that has been bought. What one believes is going to give them a grubstake at the end takes everything that they had and more.
The contrast is that we were not looking for God. We might know that there’s something wrong or something missing, but we cannot put the pieces together. God comes along and takes pity on us in our state. He buys us out of our condition, not to make us servants to be used, but sons to share his wealth.
Our service to God should be rendered not just as servants, but as loyal children, dedicated to one another.