There is relief to the poor every seven years. What brought about the poverty is not under discussion, but the relief is (15:1-18). The firstling of the flock or herd is to be properly attended to (15:19-23).
Application: Take note of the Lord’s interest in the welfare of community’s poor. What is also interesting is that in His concern there is also an obligation on the part of the less fortunate to “pay their share.” In other words, it is not a matter of mere relief of difficult circumstances – that would need to be worked out between the participating parties – but it is the Lord’s parameters (command) to how they will be relieved and why. It may be that the poor was (or will be) with them always, but it was the obligation of Israel to tend to their needs. On this point, and let it be underscored, the poor had an obligation to tend to their own needs; when difficult circumstances arose the local community was there to help. There was no loafing!
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