Deuteronomy – Deu 15:1-3 In Israel, Every Seven Years the Debt was Forgiven

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Deuteronomy – Deu 15:1-3 In Israel, Every Seven Years the Debt was Forgiven

Deu 15:1  At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. 
Deu 15:2  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.
Deu 15:3  Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release;

The number seven means “completion’ and especially of judgment. (See study here about the number seven.) To be complete in judgment means we are seeing Christ as the alpha and omega, the beginning and ending of all judgment in our lives. The debt we owe is paid, and God is satisfied with the completion of Christ’s sacrifice. This completion of sacrifice is seen in how we deal with our brothers. When I say brothers, I mean sisters, too, because the name brother means “much like” – G80. We are born again in the eyes of God as the likeness of Christ. Literal man or literal woman are “much like” Christ and therefore are as the angels in heaven.

Mat 22:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Mat 22:30  For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

When dealing with a debt owed in Old Testament Israel, every seven years the debt was forgiven. If you were given credit for something you borrowed from your brother, at the end of seven years the debt is forgiven. Lending to your neighbor is giving him something he is in need of but expecting it back. In this law, if the debt is not paid in seven years, it is released and not owed anymore. This is not to make people irresponsible but to make us forgiving, as God is to us. Whatever debt is owed to us, we are to forgive that debt equal to the debt. This is “completion” of the debt. The first example we have of this is Christ. We are all in debt to Him from birth.

The price we owe to Christ is our life. However, Christ, Who is our Brother, has forgiven us this debt because He has completely forgiven us what we have owed Him by His death on the cross. In this forgiveness of debt, we are paying back what we did not have the power to pay back. We are forgiven of the debt owed and should in like manner do the same to others. The debt is paid for us, but there is something required of us. We are to forgive as we were forgiven. Whatever we were forgiven is stipulated by our creditor that we should do the same.

I was not asked to pay more than I was indebted to pay, but the same goes to those who are in debt to me. I am not to ask for a tax on what was owed me, just equal to what was credited. I was not ordered to pay a tax to my Creditor, and therefore, I am not allowed to ask for a tax from my debtors.

Mat 18:21  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? [Peter knew the law of release according to the literal law of Moses and is why he used the number seven]
Mat 18:22  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. [Christ is showing us a more perfect way. Forgiving more than you are owed]
Mat 18:23  Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
Mat 18:24  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
Mat 18:25  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Mat 18:26  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:27  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Mat 18:28  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
Mat 18:29  And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:30  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Mat 18:31  So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Mat 18:32  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 
Mat 18:33  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Mat 18:34  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Mat 18:35  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Peter started off with the seven times because he knew the law and knew that seven was the completion of the years according to the law. Christ takes this much further and requires a complete forgiveness that goes even beyond what is owed. Seventy time seven does not mean 490 times literally but the whole forgiveness (4) of the judgment (9) of the debt, to the completion of that debt being wiped away; whatever it takes to bring the whole judgment of the debt to be completely forgiven and then beyond. Christ gives us an example;

Luk 15:11  And he said, A certain man had two sons:
Luk 15:12  And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
Luk 15:13  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
Luk 15:14  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
Luk 15:15  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
Luk 15:16  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
Luk 15:17  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Luk 15:18  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
Luk 15:19  And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
Luk 15:20  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Luk 15:21  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Luk 15:22  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
Luk 15:23  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
Luk 15:24  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

His son was forgiven with such forgiveness that it not only wiped the debt away, but gave him more than what he deserved. The forgiveness is more than the debt that was owed. He was not just forgiven but was clothed in the best robe; the righteousness of Christ. A ring was put on his finger showing the royalty of Christ, and the fatted calf was killed showing the best was sacrificed for him by Christ. However, the religious man requires a tax, and that is seen in the elder brother, which represents the world, our old man.

Luk 15:25  Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
Luk 15:26  And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
Luk 15:27  And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
Luk 15:28  And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
Luk 15:29  And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
Luk 15:30  But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
Luk 15:31  And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
Luk 15:32  It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

This is the meaning of our verses today: “at the end of every seven years…” When you have seen what you have been forgiven, you will see that whatever you thought was owed you by someone who was in debt to you was paid in your forgiveness. What you were forgiven has paid their debt also, if you see what you have been forgiven. The flesh absolutely HATES this doctrine to the core of its being. Because the flesh wants usury over its neighbour, it wants INTEREST on what is owed. It wants groveling, tears, crawling on its knees for what has been done wrong to it. Scripture teaches us something totally different in the law that pointed to Christ though.

Exo 22:25  If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

Lev 25:35  And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.
Lev 25:36  Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.
Lev 25:37  Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.
Lev 25:38  I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.

As stated above, “usury” is a tax, exacting more than what was given. Christ showed us a more excellent way, however. He shows us how to forgive seventy times seven.

Mat 5:38  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
Mat 5:39  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Mat 5:40  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
Mat 5:41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Mat 5:42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Mat 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 
Mat 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mat 5:46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Mat 5:47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Mat 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Each one of these verses shows how we are to go beyond the offense to completion. If all things come from the Father of lights, then so do these things which come against us. They are trials to make us and form us into the the image of our Savior.

Mat 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Mat 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

We are not just forgiven and then nothing more is required of us. That is false doctrine. If we have received forgiveness, then we do not exact more from our brother than him turning to us and saying “I repent”. To exact more from him is asking for usury. If your brother is in Christ, then he will see his sin and repent, even if that repentance is seventy times seven.

1Jn 4:20  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1Jn 4:21  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

How can we say we love God and hate our brother by not forgiving him? If we know, REALLY KNOW, what we have been forgiven, then forgiveness of our brother should be as we were forgiven – without usury, without a grudge, without reservation, without anything more than forgiveness from the heart. The world’s idea of forgiveness is sayings such as, “I forgive, but I don’t forget.” This is forgiveness with usury. The scriptures tells us our sins have been been cast as far from us as the east is from the west. If you go east and continue east, you will never get west. If you never turn around and go the other way, you will always go toward the rising SUN. In the Son is the light of forgiveness.

Psa 103:9  He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
Psa 103:10  He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
Psa 103:11  For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
Psa 103:12  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

It is against our nature, as fleshly carnal beasts, to not retaliate against those who hurt us. It takes a strength not of this world to resist retaliating. That strength comes from Christ Who lives in us. As He was, in taking the beatings He did, the shame, the ridicule, and the cross, so are we to be in this world.

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Our love to others is “made perfect” by what we suffer. How can we know what love is if we are exacting a tax upon the offence? Christ never opened His mouth, never argued with His tormentors, and this is how we are to be. If we are in Christ, then the love of Christ will shine from us, and we will forgive anyone who has offended us without an usury and do it with gladness because we know that in forgiving we have gained our brother.

Luk 15:32  It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

These are the scriptures for next week, LORD willing.

Deu 15:1  At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.
Deu 15:2  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.
Deu 15:3  Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release;
Deu 15:4  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:
Deu 15:5  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.
Deu 15:6  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.

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