Summary of passage: If an Israelite becomes poor, help him so he can stay with you. Don’t take interest from him or sell food to him at a profit. If a poor man sells himself to you, don’t treat him as a slave but as a worker until the Year of the Jubilee where he and his family are to go free. Slaves may be bought from the surrounding lands but no slaves are to be made from the Israelites. If an Israelite sells himself to a non-Israelite, he is to be treated as a servant, not a slave, and may be redeemed either by a relative or in the Year of the Jubilee.
8 ) Basically, do everything you can to help them get back on their feet. Don’t take advantage of them and treat them favorably. Help as much as possible.
9a) “For the Israelites belong to me (God) as servants. They are my servants whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Verse 55, 38 42
b) Personal Question. My answer: I’m taking issue with “even though you didn’t deserve it” part of this question because none of us deserve God’s care ever at all. It is all grace and mercy from Him. My answer is every day God takes care of me when I don’t deserve it. Specific times is when I am far from him like during college. Or my bankruptcy. Answer: every day.
c) Personal Question. My answer: We should treat others as God treats us: with unconditional mercy and grace and love. With those who have less than us, the same. Give, offer help and guidance, and be available.
Conclusions: I can’t help but think back on Leviticus 24 and how I’d rather study that. 8 and 9c are very similar. A good question here would be: Knowing how God calls you to treat the poor, what are you not doing that you could be doing for others and be specific. Why are you not doing it? I think we all know what we should be doing; we just don’t. Examining why would hit us where it hurts and perhaps spur us to change.
End Notes: This is similar to what Jesus said in Luke 6:34-5. Give without expecting anything back.
If one could not pay their debts, they had to work to pay it off but they had to be treated humanely and be set free. This did not hold true to non-Israelites who could remain slaves for life.
Why is this such an important part in God’s word? God wanted to make sure every one of His people understood that they were foremost His and His slave and worked for Him and no other. He is the final redeemer of His people–a fact often lost sight of in the throes of this world.