Saturday, October 11, 2014

Deuteronomy 15

Today's reading in our daily plan is Deuteronomy 15. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • The point of Deuteronomy is to help prepare God’s people (Israelites) for their entrance into the land of Canaan.  Moses is helping the Israelites understand how they need to reflect God’s standards for living.
  • Verse 1 opens up talking about financial debt.  God’s standard is for people to live free from bondage – including financial bondage.  Every 7 years, His people are to make sure they undergo a financial cleansing by eliminating debt.  God is adamant about His people experiencing the abundance and wholeness in life that only He offers (see John 10:10).
  • Verse 4 introduces another key responsibility for God’s people – to alleviate poverty in the land.  The phrasing “there need be no poor people among you” directly reflects God’s heart for the poor (see Isaiah 41:17; Matthew 19:21; 25:35; Luke 4:18).  Similarly, Proverbs 14:31 says, “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”
  • Verse 4, 5, and 19 convey an important practice for God’s people – they are to put God first with their priorities – especially finances (verse 19).  In return, God will properly equip them to continue His work of blessing others.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Though we don’t have to follow all of these Old Testament laws explicitly, it is still our responsibility to reflect the nature and image of God (see Ephesians 5:1; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 Peter 2:9)
  • God created us to experience a fulfilling life of joy and freedom (see Galatians 5:1).  We were not designed to live in bondage of anything…sin, enslavement, or finances (see 1 Corinthians 7:22-23). 
  • We have been set free in order to help free others.  So many are trapped in the  prison of poverty.  God’s people are responsible for helping to alleviate poverty. 
  • When we make God our priority (especially with our finances), He will generously bless and equip us so we can bless others.  He does not bless us so we can have a storehouse of His blessings.  Rather, He gives us resources to dispense in order to fulfill His mission (see Matthew 25:14-30).

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Are you living in bondage to financial debt?  If so, are you actively working to cancel that debt so you can live in freedom?  Perhaps you should take a Financial Peace University course.  How often do you bless others generously?  Especially the poor?  Have you made God your first financial priority?  God wants to use you to generously bless others.  What’s one thing you can do to become the generous person God created you to be?