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Good Morning.

Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. (Leviticus 25:36-37)

In keeping with the message from the previous devotion, the Bible tells us that we are not to charge our brothers — particularly those who are struggling — usury or interest. The impact of this instruction really hits home when you look at the etymology of the Hebrew  word translated as “interest.” The word neshekh literally means “biting” and so the idea is that, by charging them interest, you are “biting” into their already limited resources. At the same time, you are not really reducing the amount of the loan. Those who would be tempted to do such a thing to their brother are reminded to “fear God.”

Simultaneously, this reminds us that the resources we have are not ours but are merely on loan to us from God. Ultimately, everything we have comes from, and consequently, belongs to Him. Therefore, when another of His people are in need and we are in position to help them, He simply “reclaims” what is His for their benefit. To underscore this point, He reminded the children of Israel that He took them from Egypt, and therefore, don’t treat others the way they were treated in Egypt.

For those who follow Messiah, this is not something we can afford to overlook. By that I mean, we shouldn’t think that just because it was recorded in the so-called Old Testament that it has no bearing on us today. To the contrary, we are to embrace the principles contained in these commands, even the most difficult ones, because we are followers of Messiah. In fact, it was He who warned against putting too much stock in earthly treasure but, instead, to have a “good eye” — which is a Hebrew idiom for being generous.

In everything we do, it should be with the intention to bring glory to our Father and to sanctify His Name. So when we are willing to part with our treasure for the sake of others, it exemplifies what is in His heart toward people. Remember, “For God so loved the world that He gave His Son.” Shouldn’t we who have benefited so from His generosity, be willing to part with just a bit of the bounty He has bestowed if it will help our fellow man?

Blessings and Shalom,  




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