That we who have received in abundance from God should be rigorous and severe in our demands from poor brethren, is displeasing to God.
His tender care of us obliges us to be kind to those who have a dependence upon us.
1 At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.
2 And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’S release.
3 Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release;
4 Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:
5 Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day.
6 For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.
7 ¶ If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
12 ¶ And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.
13 And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:
14 Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.
15 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.
16 And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee;
17 Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.
18 It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.
19 ¶ All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep.
20 Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household.
21 And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God.
22 Thou shalt eat it within thy gates: the unclean and the clean person shall eat it alike, as the roebuck, and as the hart.
23 Only thou shalt not eat the blood thereof; thou shalt pour it upon the ground as water.
Deuteronomy 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Deuteronomy 15:17—Thy servant for ever.
This is what we desire to be to Christ. We have forfeited our own natural inheritance, and have taken refuge in His house. For six years we have enjoyed all that Jesus could do to make us happy; has not the time come when we should say to Him, “We do not want to go out from Thee again, but to remain with Thee for ever”? Paul delighted to call himself “a servant of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:10; Philippians 1:1).
There are two stages, so to speak, in our dealings with Him. First, we come driven by fear; the produce of our own efforts has failed; we have no other resort. Like the bird fleeing from the hawk, we have made for His breast; like the sailor driven by the tempest, we have taken the first harbor that offered. But when we have tested the blessed Master, and found Him so sweet and strong, we elect to remain with Him, not for His gifts or even His salvation, but for Himself. We do not wish to go out free; we love Him so dearly that we would rather go anywhere with Him than remain without Him.
This resolve of ours is ratified by Him. He nails our ear to His cross. Through the blood of self-sacrifice, and self-surrender; through our deeper appreciation of the meaning of His cross, as separating us from the old selfish life; through our identification with Him in death and resurrection; through our sacrifice of all that would hinder us—we come into deeper and closer oneness with Himself. As the Father bored through his ear, in accepting his glad delight to do His will, so does Jesus make real and permanent the consecration we lay at His feet (See Psalm 40:6-7). —Our Daily Homily