Welcome friends ... come on in ... join us for a taste of this morning's measure of manna!
LEVITICUS 25:35-38 ~ And if your brother be waxen (has become) poor, and fallen in decay with you; then you shall relieve him; yes, though he is a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with you. Take you no usury of him, or increase; but fear you God; that your brother may live with you. You shall not give him your money upon usury, nor lend him your victuals for increase. 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.
:35 ~ And if your brother be waxen (has become) poor, and fallen into decay with you; then you shall relieve him; yes, though he is a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with you.
Four Commands -- Relief of Poor Brother:
- If a brother becomes poor, then relieve him.
- You shall relieve him whether he is a Hebrew or stranger or visitor among you.
- Do not take interest nor crops in payment for your help.
- Fear God, so that your brother may live with you.
Commenter Matthew Henry says that "sometimes it is as great a charity to lend freely as to give." I would add that sometimes it is a greater charity...:36 ~ Take you no usury of him, or increase: but fear you God; that your brother may live with you.
No extortion ... no illegal interest on a debt was to be charged ... no bonus or percentage in addition to principal. Bottom line: no unjust gain made off of the loan.
As God has been gracious to us, so we should be gracious to our brethren.
The LORD commands us not to profit or become rich at the expense of the poor. We are not to take advantage of them to increase our own wealth. HA! Exactly the opposite of the banks and lending institutions of today ... who's main goal is exactly the opposite!
Twice God gave the reason for helping a poor brother-- that he might live among the Israelites, in Canaan, instead of being driven to another land. Some commentators say this implied: the poor would recover and be of service to the Israelites. Which really does make sense; so that they could become contributing citizens to the community.
This is the key reason, I believe, that our Society is lacking in relieving our World's poor. If only we would follow GOD's instructions! We need to strengthen the poor, so they are able take care of themselves ... so they can in turn become functioning members of our Society. This needs to be taught in our very own families first, for an impact on the World to be felt.
Money: here, means silver. Do not lend the poor your money, expecting and insisting upon a large interest for it. Victuals: food/meat/provisions. These necessities, you are expected to freely give.
According to Jon Courson: “Although Deuteronomy 23:20 allowed interest from a stranger; they having themselves been rescued by God when they were slaves in Egypt … the Israelites were to rescue their brothers from financial bondage with no-interest loans. They were not to take advantage of a brother in need.":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.
*According to Dakes’ Bible Notes: Being “brought forth out of the land of Egypt” is referred to 4 times, just in Chapters 25-26! Hmmmm ... I guess we still do need a reminder too, don't we?! Eeeesh!
We are to fear our God, Who will reckon with us for all injuries done to the poor. Do not fear them, but fear Him! A pretty clear warning, I would say! Woe be to those who take advantage of the poor!Matthew Henry points out that: "The same argument is used to enforce this precept that prefaces all of the Ten Commandments: I AM the Lord, your God, which brought you out of Egypt."
This leads me to a "side-study" on the “I AM the Lord, your God” verses that I am collecting from Deuteronomy and elsewhere in the Bible. My personal theory is that this statement/reminder is attached to directives that have particular importance to the LORD. He stresses certain statements as warnings, stern reminders. It is very likely that these warnings/reminders accompany situations that He knows that we are particularly vulnerable in. So, I have begun listing these as I find them.
I am very interested to see what truths this "side-trip" through the Bible reveals. I will publish my findings when I have a more conclusive understanding. In the meantime, you may want to take on this side-study yourself. Or, you may already have a deeper understanding. Either way, I surely would appreciate any and all input you would be willing to offer.
Until we meet again, Arrivaderci
I am blessed every day
with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna
with all who come to my "tent."
Please, let me know if you have been blessed
by the way it was prepared for you this day.~Shalom~