Read: Deuteronomy 15:1-18
This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. Deuteronomy 15:2
In this text God is teaching the Israelites how to care for one another. If, after seven years, someone is still unable to repay what you have loaned to them it’s time to make like Elsa and “let it go”. Can’t hold her back any more. It’s time to set the borrower free.
So what does this bit of scripture from the Old Testament have to do with us in 2015? I’m no Fannie Mae so what debt am I able to cancel?
Let’s fast forward to the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:12. It says, “And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” The Bible clearly tells us that ALL of us are sinners – we ALL owe a debt that we are unable to pay. But just like God gave the Israelites a chance every seven years to be debt free, He offers us the same debt cancellation through Jesus who paid our debt once and for all. I often think of where I would be if not for Jesus. How grateful I am that He saved a wretch like me!
But how about the “as we also have forgiven our debtors” part? That one’s not quite so easy because it doesn’t depend on God’s extravagant forgiveness. It depends on mine! Yikes!
Skip down to Matthew 6:14-15. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Canceling debt means forgiving. Whether we like it or not. Just as our own debt was cancelled by Jesus’ death on the cross, we must let go of the debt others owe us – and forgive.
God tells us, just like He told the Israelites, “this is how I want you to care for one another”.
How are you doing in that area? Did someone come to mind at the word “forgiveness”? Is there a debt God is asking you to cancel? Perhaps it’s time to let it go and set the borrower free. And in the process – freedom comes to you, as well!
Lord, thank you so much for canceling my debt and setting me free. Help me to show that same forgiveness to those who have wronged me. In Jesus’ powerful name I pray, amen.