Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XV: Discipling Others On Being Their Brother's Financial Keeper
(Deuteronomy 15:1-17)
  1. Introduction
    1. Some Christians are good money managers, some do fairly well, and others always seem to be in trouble!
    2. Due to this variation in money-managing skills or habits, when believers relate with one another, tensions can develop because poor money managers often become a drain on the finances of good managers.
    3. Deuteronomy 15:1-18 holds a lesson on being our brother's financial keeper, and establishes guidelines whereby we can protect the Body of Christ from relationship problems because of financial problems.
  2. Discipling Others On Being Their Brother's Financial Keeper, Deuteronomy 15:1-17.
    1. When Moses addressed the nation Israel prior to his death and Israel's entrance into Canaan, he gave advice in the context of being our brother's financial keeper so as to preserve peace and stability.
    2. We view the stipulations Moses supplied, and apply them through the use of New Testament parallels on handling finances especially when we relate to one another in the Lord (as follows):
      1. Moses told the people of Israel to observe the Sabbatical Year Financial Release laws, laws that gave financially troubled debtors a reprieve from their obligations in order to keep stability in Israel:
        1. Every seventh year, the people of Israel were to forgive all personal and corporate debts made with one another, Deuteronomy 15:1-2.
        2. Though foreigners were not to be forgiven such debts as they could come and go as they pleased (cf. Deut. 15:3a), fellow Hebrews native to the land needed relief from burdensome debts, Deut. 15:3b.
        3. In this way, poverty was kept at a minimum, for the poor were motivated to do something to help themselves once they were relieved of their huge debts, Deut. 15:4a. (The KJV, "Save when there shall be no poor among you" is better rendered, "But there shall be no poor among you," for the purpose of this law was to hold poverty at a minimum in the nation by motivating those in debt.)
        4. En route, God would keep the creditors from financial harm for forgiving these debts, 15:4b-8.
        5. Just because the poor needed a loan in the seventh year, meaning he would not be able to pay it back, the creditor was not to withhold the loan, Deut. 15:9. God would cover the loss for the creditor if he loaned the money, Deut. 15:10. God knew some people would never be good money managers (Deut. 15:11), so, to the degree they could do so, good managers had to help the poor.
        6. Even if the debt level was so severe the borrower defaulted on his loan before the Sabbatical year of debt release, the creditor was to relinquish the debt and set the poor man free, Deut. 15:12. Then, when the poor man was set free, since he didn't have any equity to go into business himself, the creditor was to provide him with additional money so he could start business himself, 15:13-15.
        7. If a slave desired to stay with his master and loved working for the household, the creditor was obliged to keep him as a slave at the slave's request, making him a bond slave, Deut. 15:16-17.
      2. The New Testament Church era supplies companion regulations that reflect these teachings as well:
        1. Believers who are good money managers are responsible to give some consideration to the welfare of those who are not good managers, but who also love the Lord, cf. 1 Cor. 16:1; Gal. 2:9-10.
        2. Believers who loan money to fellow believers need to be prepared to be merciful even to the point of forgiving the loan or part of the loan to keep the borrower out of undue bondage, Gal. 6:2, 10.
        3. If we borrow from a believer, we need to make repaying that loan a priority, for good relationships among fellow believers is more important than money, Proverbs 22:1.
        4. If a believer is unable to repay what we loaned him, beyond the loan itself, God would want us to help him get financially established to get on his feet, cf. Deut. 15:16-17 with Galatians 6:10.
Lesson: Though God's people are to take care of the financial needs of their own families (1 Timothy 5:8), SOME believers are BAD money managers. THAT means we must live and teach the need to look out for our BROTHER's financial needs to the extent we can help, 1 John 3:16-18; Galatians 6:2, 10.

Application: May we owe no brother anything, but if HE owes US, may we LOOK OUT for HIS financial welfare to the degree we CAN as an act of TRUE Christian LOVE!