I.   Verse 1-6 - Every seventh year is to be a year of release.

A.     Lev.  25:1-7 - The seventh year of release coincides with the seventh year of rest.

1.       Lev.  25:8-17 - Then every seventh, seven years, there will be the year of Jubilee, when everything will go back to the original.

2.       This plan will keep Israel's economy stable, keep the rich from abusing the poor, and cause people to trust God instead of uncertain riches.

B.     These are the things that are released in the year of release.

1.       All indebtedness of a Hebrew to a Hebrew.  This debt can never be charged again.

2.       All indebtedness of a stranger to a Hebrew.  But the Hebrew can once again charge the stranger.

3.       3.      Verse 4 - The only exception is when there are no      poor Hebrews.

a.      Verse 11 - There will always be poor strangers with Israel.

b.      Verse 5,6 - If Israel would follow the commands of God very carefully, He will see to it that they have all the necessities of this life.

c.      Other nations would borrow from Israel, but Israel would have no need to borrow from anybody.

d.      Matt.  6:33 - This is a promise for us today.  If we will put God first, stop worrying about financial matters and begin to trust God completely, He will so bless us that others will borrow of us, we won't have to borrow of them.


II.   Verse 7-11 - The Year of Release shall not hinder lending to the poor.

A.     The year of release will test a persons true religion.

1.       Notice that these verses are written to a rich man, not the poor man.

2.       God wants the rich, as well as the poor, to learn to trust him, regardless of how much material goods they have.

3.       He wants us to look past the material goods to see [1]He[1] gave them to us.

4.       Those things God has given to us, He can just as easily take away.

B.     Note: written between the lines is a reason to have a hard heart toward a poor Hebrew.

1.       Verse 4 states that if Israel would be obedient to God's commands, He would supply them with material goods.

2.       Verse 7 states that there is a poor Hebrew.  This would mean that this Hebrew had been disobedient to the Lord's commands, while the Hebrew lender had been obedient.

3.       Sometimes God does give us riches when we are obedient, but we must be careful lest we let ourselves be puffed up because of those material rewards.

4.       We must understand that apart from the Grace of God, we have nothing.

C.     The Hebrew lender should open his hands wide because his heart is opened wide.

1.       The Hebrew lender should give as much as the borrower wants, not thinking within himself that his strength, power, and labor has gotten him all this wealth.

2.       Notice that verse 9 speaks of the wicked heart of the lender.  He must not think that he won't get anything paid back for the year of release is at hand and the debtor will be set free.

3.       The Hebrew lender is commanded to give freely, not thinking about the return.  The Lord will return exactly what the lender needs paid back.

4.       The Hebrew lender should beware of the attitude of his heart.  This is more than just outward appearances, but inward reality.

D.     Verse 11 - The poor shall never cease out of the land.

1.       Is this verse a contradiction of verse 4?

2.       No.  There shall always be poor people in the land of Israel.

3.       There will always be poor strangers living within Israel.

4.       There will always be those Hebrews that are poor because they do not follow the commandments of God.

5.       The promise of God is there.  But all Israel will not believe the promises of God.

6.       The same thing is true today.  The promises of God are rich toward us.  It is not His promises that fail.  It is us who fail to believe His promises.


III.   Verse 12-18 - How to treat a Hebrew that has served six years.

A.     This law is only for a Hebrew that has served six years.  It does not apply to the strangers that serve, nor to the Hebrews that serve less than six years.

1.       In the year of release, the master shall give liberally to the servant.

2.       Verse 18 - There shall be no regret or hard feelings toward the Lord because of letting the servant go.

3.       This will give the servant, and his family, a good start.  They shouldn't have to go back into servant hood for a while.

4.       This also should force the master to realize that his material goods did not come to him because of his labor, but through the labor of his servants.

5.       Verse 15 - This verse teaches the Hebrews to live a "Christian" life.  They are to do unto others as Christ has done unto them.

B.     Verse 16,17 - The servant who wishes to remain a servant.

1.       The servant shall not be forced to stay, but shall stay because of love for the master.

2.       He shall be marked for life with the awl through the ear.

3.       This is a symbol of the saved person who, because of their poverty, becomes a servant of the Lord.  It is because of love while a servant that the saved person becomes "marked for life" and has no intention of leaving his beloved master.


IV.   Verse 19-23 - The first of the flock belongs to God.

A.     The firstling male always belongs to the Lord.

B.     This is a thanksgiving offering, because in verse 20, Israel is commanded to eat the animal.  The Thanksgiving offering is the only offering that the giver partakes of.

1.       The animal must meet all the requirements of a thanksgiving offering.

2.       Only perfect animals can be used because they represent the perfection of Christ.

3.       If any animal is imperfect, it shall not be offered as a thanksgiving offering, but shall be killed and eaten at home, shared by all, the clean and unclean.

4.       Verse 23 - Again, there is a restriction in eating blood because blood is the life of the animal, and represents the shed blood of Jesus Christ which cleanses the sins of the world.