Deuteronomy 15* The year of release. (1-11) Concerning the release ofservants. (12-18) Respecting the firstlings of cattle. (19-23)1-11 This year of release typified the grace of the gospel, inwhich is proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord; and bywhich we obtain the release of our debts, that is, the pardon ofour sins. The law is spiritual, and lays restraints upon thethoughts of the heart. We mistake, if we think thoughts are freefrom God's knowledge and check. That is a wicked heart indeed,which raises evil thoughts from the good law of God, as theirsdid, who, because God had obliged them to the charity offorgiving, denied the charity of giving. Those who would keepfrom the act of sin, must keep out of their minds the verythought of sin. It is a dreadful thing to have the cry of thepoor justly against us. Grudge not a kindness to thy brother;distrust not the providence of God. What thou doest, do freely,for God loves a cheerful giver, #2Co 9:7|. 12-18 Here the law concerning Hebrew servants is repeated.There is an addition, requiring the masters to put some smallstock into their servants' hands to set up with for themselves,when sent out of their servitude, wherein they had received nowages. We may expect family blessings, the springs of familyprosperity, when we make conscience of our duty to our familyrelations. We are to remember that we are debtors to Divinejustice, and have nothing to pay with. That we are slaves, poor,and perishing. But the Lord Jesus Christ, by becoming poor, andby shedding his blood, has made a full and free provision forthe payment of our debts, the ransom of our souls, and thesupply of all our wants. When the gospel is clearly preached,the acceptable year of the Lord is proclaimed; the year ofrelease of our debts, of the deliverance of our souls, and ofobtaining rest in him. And as faith in Christ and love to himprevail, they will triumph over the selfishness of the heart,and over the unkindness of the world, doing away the excusesthat rise from unbelief, distrust, and covetousness. 19-23 Here is a direction what to do with the firstlings. Weare not now limited as the Israelites were; we make nodifference between a first calf, or lamb, and the rest. Let usthen look to the gospel meaning of this law, devoting ourselvesand the first of our time and strength to God; and using all ourcomforts and enjoyments to his praise, and under the directionof his law, as we have them all by his gift.
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