Deuteronomy 15

* The year of release. (1-11) Concerning the release of

servants. (12-18) Respecting the firstlings of cattle. (19-23)

1-11 This year of release typified the grace of the gospel, in

which is proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord; and by

which we obtain the release of our debts, that is, the pardon of

our sins. The law is spiritual, and lays restraints upon the

thoughts of the heart. We mistake, if we think thoughts are free

from God's knowledge and check. That is a wicked heart indeed,

which raises evil thoughts from the good law of God, as theirs

did, who, because God had obliged them to the charity of

forgiving, denied the charity of giving. Those who would keep

from the act of sin, must keep out of their minds the very

thought of sin. It is a dreadful thing to have the cry of the

poor 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 small

stock into their servants' hands to set up with for themselves,

when sent out of their servitude, wherein they had received no

wages. We may expect family blessings, the springs of family

prosperity, when we make conscience of our duty to our family

relations. We are to remember that we are debtors to Divine

justice, and have nothing to pay with. That we are slaves, poor,

and perishing. But the Lord Jesus Christ, by becoming poor, and

by shedding his blood, has made a full and free provision for

the payment of our debts, the ransom of our souls, and the

supply of all our wants. When the gospel is clearly preached,

the acceptable year of the Lord is proclaimed; the year of

release of our debts, of the deliverance of our souls, and of

obtaining rest in him. And as faith in Christ and love to him

prevail, they will triumph over the selfishness of the heart,

and over the unkindness of the world, doing away the excuses

that rise from unbelief, distrust, and covetousness.
19-23 Here is a direction what to do with the firstlings. We

are not now limited as the Israelites were; we make no

difference between a first calf, or lamb, and the rest. Let us

then look to the gospel meaning of this law, devoting ourselves

and the first of our time and strength to God; and using all our

comforts and enjoyments to his praise, and under the direction

of his law, as we have them all by his gift.
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