Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou gives him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. ~Deuteronomy 15:9
In Deut. 15, the Lord gave to Israel the principle of release. Every seventh year, the Hebrews were required to release from obligation any fellow Hebrew who owed him a debt. All debts would be cleared, and the debtor would have a clean start. In addition, if any Hebrew had a servant, this servant would be required to serve for six years, but in the seventh year, the owner was required to release him. The seventh year was established as the Year of Release. It was a time in which every Hebrew was to release or let go of indebted obligations owed to them. There is a powerful lesson for us today that it’s time to let some things go.
It’s time to let go of the grudges.
“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.” The Hebrews, just like us, kept careful records of those who owed them money. When that seventh year approached, I imagined there were a lot of opportunistic Hebrews who were not happy they had to let their debtors go free. All debt instruments had to be torn to shreds and the debtor was free of his obligation. The lesson in this is for us to let go of grudges we have. A grudge is a misgiving and bitter resentment we have against someone who might have done us wrong. People go to their graves with grudges. Whatever wrong you have experienced is bad, and it is sad you had to go through this. However, let it go! Let it go and learn to be forgiving and forgetful.
It’s time to let go in our giving.
“If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.” God made it very clear that even though every Hebrew lived in the land of inheritance, some of them would be poor. He said that there would be poor always among them. The Hebrews were commanded to be considerate of every poor person and to open his hand wide unto him. Opening our hand wide to another person less fortunate than us encourages a constant spirit of giving. No Hebrew was to walk away from a giving opportunity. Let it go when it comes to giving. By this, I mean have a spirit of giving always in your heart. Realize that giving is an opportunity for us to show how much we are like Jesus. Let go a stingy attitude and be ready to give and distribute.
It’s time to let go in our grace.
“And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.” When a Hebrew released a bond slave from servitude in that seventh year, he was required to do more than just release him. He was required to supply him liberally out of his flock, his floor, and his winepress. He was required to supply him with more than enough to help this servant have a good start. Grace giving is when we give of ourselves and beyond ourselves. It is not giving the minimum, but with abundance and cheerfulness. Let it go in exercising grace. Don’t be giving of your minimum, but be liberal in your spirit of grace to others.
It’s time to let go with the gospel. Our devotion this morning revolves about the principle of release. There is one more important thing we must let go of, and that is the gospel message. The practice of release distinguished a Hebrew from a heathen. It represented that people were important. Let us not forget that people need the Lord. Don’t hold on to the gospel: rather, let it go! Tell others about Jesus!
Don’t live your life holding on: let it go and experience the joy of release!
Have a grace-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Matthew 5-6