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It shall not seem hard to you when you send him away free from you; for he has been worth a double hired servant in serving you six years. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do. (Deuteronomy 15:18)

This passage is specifically addressing the issue of the bondservant and the need for the master to abide by this commandment with the right heart and attitude. Coupling this with the instructions given previously — forgiving others their debts in the year of release — speaks to the bigger issue which is being generous, compassionate and forgiving. In fact, let us consider these instructions within the context of this question posed by Peter — “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21). 

Forgiveness is a big deal in the Kingdom of God because, without it, we wouldn’t be in the Kingdom in the first place. As Paul said to the Romans, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us” (Romans 5:8). In other words, when we were unlovable and headstrong to do our own thing, Messiah demonstrated a will to forgive us. Therefore, we should not be so hesitant to follow His example when we are asked to forgive, and by that I mean to say, He doesn’t ask us to do something He is unwilling to do.

More to the point — He expects us to forgive our brother. In response to Peter’s question, Messiah said, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22). I take that to mean, we must be willing to forgive those who ask for it as often as they have to ask for it just as God willingly forgives us again and again. There are things about God that we can not duplicate in our human state — His omniscience, His omnipotence and omnipresence — but there are attributes that we can strive to emulate — forgiveness is one of them. As Messiah said, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

Blessings and Shalom,  




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