Clean and unclean food; the Law of the tithe; dedication of the firstborn; three Feasts to be observed; Passover celebrated, foreshadowing Christ's redemptive work on the cross as the last Sacrifical Lamb; judges and justice.
Israel was instructed to observe a year of release every seven years when all indebtedness was to be cleared from all the records. Thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee. . . . thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land (Deut. 15:1,10-11; Lev. 25:20-21).
God has always demonstrated loving concern for the poor, the widow, children, and the helpless. The sufferings of distressed people touch His heart. As He said to a weeping Egyptian mother in the desert without food and water as she awaited the death of her child Ishmael: Hagar . . . fear not (Gen. 21:17). He said to Isaac when his herdsmen were driven away by the herdsmen of Gerar: Fear not, for I am with thee (26:24). Jesus said: Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My Name . . . shall not lose his reward (Mark 9:41). When one gives to the poor, he lends to the Lord who always repays (Prov. 19:17).
Our Lord had compassion on the multitude, because they . . . have nothing to eat (Matt. 15:32). The same God is compassionate today when He observes men, women, and little children who live in poverty — not having even the necessities of life — and He expects us to express compassion.
Can anyone believe that God is indifferent to the pain, sorrows, griefs, and trials of His creation? In the darkest night and wildest storm, He is saying to all who receive Him as Savior and Lord: Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid (14:27).
The Gospel of salvation is a testimony to the tender mercy of His nature. He has remembered all of us when we were eternally lost and bound by Satan and separated from the riches of His grace. God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
At the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14) all who have received Christ as Lord of their lives, resulting in manifesting their concern for the needs of others, will hear the King say unto them: Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in (Matt. 25:34-36).
Thought for Today:Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle (Ps. 24:8).
Through the year of release, which typifies Christ's forgiveness of our sins (Deut. 15:1). This should cause us to realize how important it is to forgive others, even as He has forgiven us (Matt. 6:14-15). Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you (Eph. 4:32).
14:1 cut disfigure; make any baldness shave; 14:2 holy . . . peculiar people treasured possession, dedicated; 14:7 cloven split; 14:8 swine pig; 14:23 fear give reverential, heartfelt submission to and respect for; 14:25 turn exchange; 14:26 Whatever thy soul lusteth after whatever you desire; 15:1 release forgiveness of debts; 15:4 Save except; 15:5 hearken listen and obey; 15:9 be evil be selfish, inconsiderate, hateful, hostile, hold grudge; 15:10 not to be grieved have no regrets; 15:11 open thine hand wide live freely; 15:14 floor threshing floor; 15:15 bondman slave; 16:3 leavened bread bread that contains yeast; affliction humiliation, distress; 16:13 corn grain; 16:19 gift bribe; 16:20 that which is altogether just what is right.
Pray for Government Official: Sen. Christopher Bond (MO) • Country: Venezuela (23 million) on the northern coast of South America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian dialects • Religious freedom • 94% Roman Catholic; 1% Protestant; 1% Indian pagan religions • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that faith is a vital tool in your prayer life to ensure your prayers are answered (Rom. 12:3).
Optional Reading: Luke 21
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:22