In this chapter, Moses starts by giving directions concerning the release of debts every 7th year, while cautioning this should not be an excuse to stop or limit charitable lending (v. 1-11). Next he addresses the release of servants after 7 years of service (v. 12-18) and he ends with the setting apart of the firstborn cattle to God (v. 19-23)
In reading a commentary by Matthew Henry on this chapter, I learned that if a borrower could not pay back the money that he borrowed to sustain himself and his family without reducing himself and family to poverty, he should be released from the debt, though, if able afterwards, good conscience should prompt the repayment. This honored the sabbatical year of the Lord’s release.
We are reminded that we have been released from our sin debt – which is eternal separation from God – by the pardoning of our sin by the death and resurrection of Lord Jesus when we received Him as our Savior.
In verses 12-18, Moses talks of the Israelite’s slavery in Egypt and the ‘LORD your God redeemed you’ (v. 15). Again, the parallel of Jesus’ redemption of us – buying us back from the death consequence of sin – with His life is unmistakable. In Jesus we find true freedom.
I find such beauty in this chapter as I read and reflect on the LORD we learn of in the Old Testament and remember the SAVIOR we are given in the New. My heart is unspeakably grateful for the love given to such an intentionally sinful and broken creation by the Creator and His Son. —- Mary Mauderer