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We have in this Chapter a continuation of Moses' discourse. Here are contained, the order for the release of debtors every seventh year: cautions to the people not to withhold lending to their needy brethren, on account of the year of release being at hand: some particularities respecting the Hebrew servant, and concerning the offering of the firstlings of their cattle to GOD.
I call upon the Reader in a very particular manner in the opening of this chapter, to remember the motto which I have so often endeavored to bring to his recollection, that Moses wrote of CHRIST; for here JESUS is evidently preached; and if the HOLY GHOST shall be mercifully pleased to reveal him to the Reader's view, he may and will discover, so much of the LORD CHRIST in this chapter, as will prove to him, that the law is our schoolmaster unto CHRIST. Let the Reader observe, in the account of this year of release, that it is called the LORD'S release. And what is the release of poor insolvent debtors to the laws of GOD, when by sin they are rendered totally incapable of paying what they owe both to the law and justice of GOD, and they are through the infinite mercy of GOD'S covenant love in JESUS, justified from all things, and though bond sinners, are set at happy liberty in CHRIST JESUS; what is such a deliverance and freedom, but the LORD'S release - GOD'S acceptable year of salvation? Oh! thou dear and precious Redeemer! who doth not, or who will not see thee in thy gracious character, when thou didst declare that the year of thy redeemed was come, when thou camest to set at liberty them that were bruised, and to let the oppressed go free? Luke 4:18-19 .
What is a foreigner? Paul hath told us, Ephesians 2:12 . Reader! do you not see from hence, that covenant blessings, and covenant mercies, are peculiar blessings and mercies. LORD! give me grace to be very earnest in searching for the tokens of being interested in the covenant; and then, grace to prize them in proportion to their infinite importance, . Reader! examine yourself by that mark, Romans 8:14 . Read also with it, Romans 9:4-8 .
Spiritually considered, what a mercy would this be, when that scripture shall be fulfilled, in which it is said, GOD'S people shall all be righteous; Isaiah 60:21 . In JESUS the very poorest are so. But it should seem to refer to the latter day glory. Who doth not join in that prayer of the Psalmist, Psalms 53:6 ?
Is not this strictly true, in gospel days, when the servants of JESUS impart of their golden treasure, the word of GOD, to the darkened nations of the earth? What loan is like this? And what power over men is equal to that which, under GOD'S teaching, brings them into captivity to the law of CHRIST? 2 Corinthians 9:12-14 .
Reader! dwell particularly on that endearing word, thy brother, while reading this precept. Then, turn thy thoughts to JESUS, a brother born for adversity; and call to mind, in every instance of a real brother in JESUS who is in distress, that he is his image, and representative. Read that scripture with this; and may GOD the HOLY GHOST give energy to it, both in your mind and mine. Few have ever entered into the full meaning of it. Matthew 25:40 .
What a gracious provision hath the LORD of our salvation made, in guarding against evil! The heart is wicked, and David saith of himself that it was the transgression of the wicked which spake within his own heart, that showed him the fear of GOD was not before him. Psalms 36:1 . And Paul confesseth for himself, that until the law came, in all its spirituality and power, as extending to the thoughts of the heart, he did not know sin, Romans 7:7 . Reader! what are your views of this subject?
Reader! look around thee, and behold this day how GOD'S word is verified. Blessed JESUS! give me grace to keep in view thine unequalled poverty, and to consider the path of honest humble poverty as dignified by thy bright example. 2 Corinthians 8:9 .
Observe, it is a brother that is here spoken of: one included in the covenant promises. To everyone of this character there is a year of release, whether male or female. Colossians 3:11 .
And doth not JESUS when he sends forth his brethren in the freedom of his salvation, send them forth enriched with all spiritual blessings in CHRIST JESUS? Ephesians 1:3 .
Sweet remembrance! LORD give me grace ever to keep in view the wormwood and the gall, that the honey and the honeycomb of the gospel, even JESUS himself, may be the more precious to my soul. Song 1-8.
Do I not see JESUS in this scripture? Was it not him who though LORD of all, and equal with the FATHER, yet made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant? And was it not JESUS whose ear was thrust through to be the servant of JEHOVAH in redemption work forever, until all his people are brought home to glory. Dearest LORD! oh! communicate to my soul unceasing grace, unremitting knowledge, to contemplate thee as cheerfully engaging in the service of thy FATHER, when accomplishing the great ends of salvation. Oh! do thou give to me a portion of the same humble spirit, that I may cry out with one of old, 'Truly I am thy servant, I am thy servant, thou hast loosed my bonds.' Psalms 116:16 .
Here is a repetition of the law concerning the redemption of the firstlings of the flock. See Exodus 13:15; Exodus 13:15 . But let not the Reader overlook the grand object intended from it. JESUS is the first-born among many brethren. He was devoted to the LORD'S service from the womb. And how highly expedient was it that his holiness and immaculate purity should be represented by an unblemished offering. Reader! GOD the HOLY GHOST give you and me grace, that our poor offerings may all be brought with an eye to JESUS! Malachi 1:13-14 .
BEFORE I close the chapter, let me pause again and review the divine mercy in the appointment of the year of release. Let me contemplate the FATHER's everlasting love, the Redeemer's unequalled grace, and thy rich mercy, O thou eternal SPIRIT! from whose teaching alone it is that I behold, in this ancient representation, the everlasting free grace of JEHOVAH in the finished righteousness of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Oh! thou, who in the fulness of love didst come to give liberty to the captive, sight to the blind, and to proclaim the year of release to all thy redeemed! Hail, precious Saviour! blessed forever be thy name, that when our poor fallen nature lay bound in the prison house, to have remained there forever, as debtors to the infinite justice and law of our GOD, thou camest full of grace and truth, didst restore us to our freedom, and not only didst send us out in happy liberty, but also full of the gifts and graces of the HOLY GHOST. By what name shall I call thee? or in what endearing point of view shall I look up to thee, O thou compassionate Redeemer, who in the accomplishment of this great work didst consent to have his ear bored to the door of thy FATHER's house, that I might be freed forever? Add one blessing more, O LAMB of GOD, to these unspeakable mercies, and cause the purchase of thy blood and service to be dedicated to thy glory: that as I am no longer my own, but bought with a price, I may glorify GOD in my body, and in my spirit, which are his.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25