Israel is reminded of clean and unclean animals as well as the importance of tithing a tenth of their possessions.
What I really like is the "year for canceling debts". Every 7 years, any Israelite who owes money to another Israelite is to have the debt canceled. They are instructed to give and live with an open hand and freely help brothers in need even if the time of the 7th year is drawing close. They are to forgive and forget debts after the 7th year and harbor no ill feelings.
Slaves are also to be set free and given flocks after 7 years. This is to be a reminder of how they were also set free from their slavery in Egypt.
They are reminded of Passover, Feast of Weeks (free offering based on what you have grown), Feast of Tabernacles (free offering 7 days after gathering all grain and grapes).
Over all, my favorite part of this reading was about forgiving debts. Do yourself a favor and read 15:1-11 :) God basically states that as long as His people are blessed, there is no reason for people to be poor. He calls His people to give their money and assets freely to brothers in need and expect nothing in return unless the person is able to return it. It's the way I wish we all lived... but sadly many live with a closed fist and don't allow others to come into their lives out of sheer stubbornness. I admit that I am guilty of this many times over. How often do I pass people in need on the streets of Atlanta and walk right on by. A close friend of mine makes it a point to say hello to homeless people she meets on her way to work and to even befriend them. The stories she has told me always lift my spirits and makes me wish that I spent more time creating these acquaintances. I could offer the man digging through my apartment's dumpster a warm meal and a clean blanket or offer the person outside of Publix a free meal (although I have done this once--I was turned down because all he wanted was mouthwash to drink since no one would buy him alcohol--I should not let this discourage me from trying again).
The point is that we should be constantly looking for brothers and sisters in need, even those in our own backyard... live with a open hand and give freely. The things you have been blessed with are not your own!
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