I look forward to the seventh day of the week, Sabbath. That day is different from the other days. Bills, errands, and work are traded in for time spent with God, family and friends. The weekly Sabbath provides time for rest. A reset for the coming week.
Deuteronomy 15 refers to another rest/reset. Every seven years there was to be no harvest, debts were cancelled, and servants were freed. This may sound like a recipe for worry, not rest. What will we eat without a harvest? How will we replace borrowed items and money if debts aren’t repaid? Who will help replant fields without servants?
Today we might worry about people not doing their fair share and how much it will cost us, or we worry about people who use the system for personal gain. We judge by the outward appearance and keep score of the ways we are wronged and the people who wronged us.
God asks us to take a different view, one that involves faith and trust that He will keep His promises. He asks us not to hold grudges, but instead, forgive. Be free from keeping score. He asks us to be generous, kind, and helpful, treating others the way you would want to be treated if you were in the same situation. He promises that in return we will be blessed in everything we do. We will experience a freedom and rest that is found when we bring joy to others and glory to God.
was born in Portland, Oregon, and was raised in Sandy. She attended Hood View school then Gem State Academy in Idaho where she met her hubby, Mike. Fast-forward 30 years.... They have four grown sons, three (plus one soon-to-be) daughters-in-law, one grandson, three granddaughters and an assortment of pets. She manages the office for their family trucking company and the office at the church. She enjoys quilting, cooking, camping, traveling, sunshine, and being with family and friends.
Debts Canceled Every Seven Years
1 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts.2 And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release. 3 Of a foreigner you may require it; but you shall give up your claim to what is owed by your brother, 4 except when there may be no poor among you; for the Lord will greatly bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance— 5 only if you carefully obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you today. 6 For the Lord your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.
Generosity to the Poor
7 “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, 8 but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. 9 Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it become sin among you. 10 You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. 11 For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’
The Law Concerning Bondservants
12 “If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed; 14 you shall supply him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your winepress. From what the Lord your God has blessed you with, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today. 16 And if it happens that he says to you, ‘I will not go away from you,’ because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you, 17 then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise. 18 It shall not seem hard to you when you send him away free from you; for he has been worth a double hired servant in serving you six years. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do.
The Law Concerning Firstborn Animals
19 “All the firstborn males that come from your herd and your flock you shall sanctify to the Lord your God; you shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 You and your household shall eat it before the Lord your God year by year in the place which the Lord chooses. 21 But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22 You may eat it within your gates; the unclean and the clean person alike may eat it, as if it were a gazelle or a deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it on the ground like water.
The Passover Reviewed
1 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the Lord your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the Lord chooses to put His name. 3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. 4 And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight until morning.
5 “You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you; 6 but at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. 7 And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the Lord your God chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. 8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a sacred assembly to the Lord your God. You shall do no work on it.
The Feast of Weeks Reviewed
9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you. 11 You shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. 12 And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.
The Feast of Tabernacles Reviewed
13 “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. 14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. 15 Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.
16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.
Justice Must Be Administered
18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
21 “You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to the Lord your God. 22 You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which the Lord your God hates.
The Just Judgment of the Wicked
To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.” A Michtam of David.
1 Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones?
Do you judge uprightly, you sons of men?
2 No, in heart you work wickedness;
You weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth.
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;
They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.
4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent;
They are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear,
5 Which will not heed the voice of charmers,
Charming ever so skillfully.
6 Break their teeth in their mouth, O God!
Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
7 Let them flow away as waters which run continually;
When he bends his bow,
Let his arrows be as if cut in pieces.
8 Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes,
Like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun.
9 Before your pots can feel the burning thorns,
He shall take them away as with a whirlwind,
As in His living and burning wrath.
10 The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked,
11 So that men will say,
“Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
Surely He is God who judges in the earth.”