Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 24, 2014

Forgiveness: “a remission of debts” – “Freely you received, freely give.”

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy 15:1-18.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+15&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“1 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts.  2 This is the manner of remission:  every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the Lord’s remission has been proclaimed.  3 From a foreigner you may exact it, but your hand shall release whatever of yours is with your brother.  4 However, there will be no poor among you, since the Lord will surely bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, 5 if only you listen obediently to the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all this commandment which I am commanding you today.  6 For the Lord your God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow;  and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.

7 “If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother;  8 but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.  9 Beware that there is no base thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,’ and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing;  then he may cry to the Lord against you, and it will be a sin in you.  10 You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.  11 For the poor will never cease to be in the land;  therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’”  Deuteronomy Chapter 15:  Verses 1-11.

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Today’s Scripture first points us to our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ from Whom we have received forgiveness, “a remission of debts”.  “He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  Colossians 1:13-14.

But then, today’s Scripture points us to our duty.  As we have been forgiven, we need to forgive our brother.  We remember Jesus’ Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.  Here is the conclusion of the parable.  “Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.  Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’  And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.  My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:32-35.

Today’s Scripture concludes with the command:  “You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land ”  Verse 11.  And we are reminded of Jesus’ command, a good summary, easy to remember:  “…  Freely you received, freely give.”  Matthew 10:8.


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