if only you will strictly obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. Deuteronomy 15:5 (ESV)
Notice this great promise is conditionally based on obedience. We too are blessed when we obey the Lord.
For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ Deuteronomy 15:11 (ESV)
God does not want us to ignore the poor but to open our hearts in generosity and love toward them. This call to justice and care in the community is seen throughout God’s word. We must recognise our call to serve the poor and needy as the body of Christ. See Galatians 2:10, Romans 15:26 and Mark 14:7
It shall not seem hard to you when you let him go free from you, for at half the cost of a hired worker he has served you six years. So the LORD your God will bless you in all that you do. Deuteronomy 15:18 (ESV)
When we read about slaves in the bible, often we mix it with the more contemporary slave trade of the 19th century where countless families from Africa were stolen and sold into shameful, brutal shackled slavery throughout Europe, America and the West Indies. This is wrong. The slaves referred to here were paid for their work (or were paying of a debt) and had the opportunity to go free. This was like a cheaper form of labour and was crucial to Ancient Near Eastern society.
This is why slavery is not simply overturned in the New Testament in a revolutionary style, instead the relationship between workers (slaves) and masters (employers) is reformed. This was particularly radical in the Roman world where masters and servants would never be seen as peers. See Matthew 20:27, Romans 6:18, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:28 and Ephesians 6:5
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you. Deuteronomy 16:17 (ESV)
We should follow this principle in our giving to The Lord and pursue a lifestyle of generosity and gratitude. The 10% in the tithe is just a basic guide pointing to us giving all. Let’s not restrict ourselves to giving in a cold legalistic way, instead we should joyfully and willingly give generously in genuine gratitude for all God has blessed us with. Give what God has put on your heart to give in faith and joy.
And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold. Deuteronomy 17:17 (ESV)
God gave direction for the kings of Israel long before the people asked for a king. None of the kings of Israel obeyed this command fully as many had riches, multiple wives and did not write the book of the law. They are all surpassed by the true king Jesus. See John 18:37, Revelation 1:5 and Revelation 22:16
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 (ESV)
The treasure is the “the gospel of God’s glory revealed in Christ” spoken of in the last verse. We carry this glorious and greatest of all messages in quite unremarkable packaging, when we are saved we don’t become superior to other humans, we are still made from dust, frail, weak, lowly, expendable, still having to face trials and are vulnerable like the common clay vessels.
These vessels are used as instruments in the masters hands, we humbly submit ourselves as vessels in the Masters use. We are like envelopes delivering the vitally important message of the Good News. The gospel is so glorious and life changing that those who receive it will know it did not originate from us and all the glory comes from and so belongs to God.
always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:10–12 (ESV)
The cycle of death and resurrection is vital in all our lives as believers, we must walk in self denial, humility and service while undergoing persecution, this is death. While all this is happening the life of God by the Holy Spirit is manifested in us because when we are weak God is strong.
Our dependance is on him, our very life depends on him, we are unified with Christ he is our life source so for more fruit to come the seasons must have their full cycle and we must abide in the vine in every season, this will bring more fruit and growth… the only way we can thrive in Christ is to die and rise in his power. As each one of us sacrifices we bless others in the body too.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV)
The great reward God has in store for us should encourage and strengthen us through all struggles and suffering, Paul said the glory so outweighs the suffering that they can’t even be compared
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 (ESV)
We should find our pleasure in the Lord, we should enjoy God and find our greatest joy in God because he is our greatest treasure, when we take delight in the Lord our life will find true fulfilment and the desires of our hearts align with his and he will give to us according to those desire abundantly. See John 15:11