Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Tuesday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on September 13, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Deuteronomy 15:7-15 (NKJV)
15:7 “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.’
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 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.”
Reading the words of Deuteronomy 15, how could we not think of poor Lazarus? Reading this passage instructs us concerning the depravity of the rich man. The Lord had established His Law so that debt could not build up and crush the debtors. Even a man who was enslaved for his debts was set free in the seventh year, and he returned to his freedom with those things which he needed to sustain his life.
The Lord took into account the depravity of the human heart; that is, that men would hesitate to loan to those who might be able to walk away without restoring that which had been loaned to them. (Thus their hesitancy on the cusp of the seventh year: “The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand”.) The Lord is the Author of all good things; that which is given had its origin in His mercy, and the Christian rejoices to be God’s instrument in caring for our brethren in need. As St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:6–7) And we remember that we are recipients of a Gift beyond measure—forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation in Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Almighty and Everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and that we may obtain that which Thou dost promise, make us to love that which Thou dost command; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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