How To Be Debt Free – The Covenant Perspective
15 of 34
Welcome to our daily bible studies of the Book of Deuteronomy. Today, we are at chapter fifteen (and day 15 of 34), How To Be Debt Free – The Covenant Perspective, The Year of Release. The previous day’s lesson was Children of The Lord God – The Peculiar People.
At the beginning of each calandar year many persons make various resolutions. One of these popular objectives is to be debt-free. For many, weight loss is easier to achieve than becoming debt free. Others find it more difficult to save than to either lose weight or become debt free. But why is this goal such an elusive dream? It is unreachable, for many, to the point they live their entire adult lives and never attain financial freedom.
According to Deuteronomy chapter fifteen verses one to twenty three, (Deuteronomy 15:1-23) being debt-free is attainable. Moses and the children of Israel – Israel - is the church in the wilderness. They are the first people of covenant. The Present Age Church is also under a covenant (The New Testament) with God. These principles of financial freedom were initially given to Moses and Israel in the wilderness. The contemporary church has the same power with God, they are no different.
Follow the steps below to eliminate debts and poverty from among the people of covenant, the believers.
Step 1 – Stop Adding to Your Total Debt
This step is obvious and self explanatory.The long term objective is to reduce your debts until there are none.
- For all transactions use cash where possible.
- Differ spending except for essentials.
- Use credit cardsonly if you have the money to pay for it or have access to a finincial source.
- Make one large shopping instead of several smaller ones.
The only thing believers should be debtors for is love, Romans 13:8.
Step 2 - Be Obedient to God to be Debt Free
The Lord God promises to “greatly bless” Israel in the good land. This blessing of the Lord awaits Israel in the promised land. Not only is the blessing of God to Israel contingent on obedience to His commands but it is the very foundation on which their success and survival is anchored. The Lord promised to bless the people of covenant “only” if they “carefully” listen to Him and “do” all is “commandments,” Deuteronomy 15:5. Wit the assistance of the Lord because we are obedient to Him He will aid us to be debt free.
Step 3 – Live Within Your Means
Much financial problems is a result of impulsive and free spending.
- Avoid using credit cards for they can increase your total debts easily and unwittingly. Use a debit card instead. A pre-loaded Rush Card is ideal. Don’t have one? Apply for your prepaid Visa Rush Card here.
- Operate on a budget
- Pursue a lifestyle that is your own and not your neighbour’s
- Take advantage of discounts, sales, coupons etc to reduce amount spent.
- Do not spend more than you earn. How is this possible? By borrowing, by using overdraft on checking accounts, by going over limit on credit cards and by using credit cards you cannot pay for.
Step 4 - Help the Poor
This part of the process may seem unrelated to your indebtedness but it is not, instead, helping the poor is inextricably connected to your financial freedom. Observe carefully, that the condition “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren” , in verse seven implies that all believers can be rich. So the possibilities exist that there maybe a believer who is not poor. But how could this be, unless all the people of covenant are rich?
Do not be selfish and unwilling to assist a poor person who is a believer. How should he be helped? Lend him what is adequate to satisfy his needs. These needs are not only limited to food and sustenance but finances as well. He who assists the poor really is lending to God. It is an investment in God. This really could not be done by the world because it requires absolute faith and obedience to God. But this is not all for nothing for the Lord promises to bless Israel for helping “the poor among them” if it is done without malice . That is just for starters, because “for this thing” they will always be prosperous in all their endeavours because the LORD shall bless them ” in all” their “works” and all that they try to do, see Deuteronomy 15:10.
Step 5 - End of Every Seven Years Write – Off Debts of Your Brother
This system of debt elimination is reciprocal. According to Deuteronomy chapter fifteen verse three (Deuteronomy 15:3) a believer, as a creditor, is under no obligations to release the debt of a unbeliever, that is, a “foreigner”. On the other hand, the Lord commands a believer who is also a creditor to write - off the debts of his fellow believer at the end of every seven years “because it is called the LORD’s release.”
The table is turned, if that same creditor is a debtor to another believer the Lord commands the latter to release (write – off) the former total debts at the end of every seven years “because it is called the LORD’s release.”
The Exception- Do Not Release
The only exception to this principle is when there is “no poor among you”, no poor among the believers, Deuteronomy 15:4. At this stage in the life of Israel and the life of the entire covenant family, all believers should be rich, and debt free.
The statement above, ”no poor among you” should not be confusing or seems contradictory to “the poor shall never cease out of the land”, Deuteronomy 15:11. These two statements are talking to two different sets of people. The Lord use “no poor among you” to differentiate the people of covenant from the people of the land. Notice how He uses this phrase repeatedly to emphasise the distinction in verse four (v4) and again in v7 when He expresses how to handle a situation when a poor believer may ”be” living “among you”, to whom you are related. By contrast, the first clause in verse eleven means all the poor of all other nations except Israel. The remainder of the same verse, however, means Israel. By saying your “brother”, your “poor” and your “needy” in your “land” the Lord is once again using repetition to distinguish and differentiate the people of covenant from the all the people of the land. See Deuteronomy 15:11. Here is another example of how peculiar the Lord sees His people of covenant. The covenant people by being peculiar, to the Lord, “above all the nations of the earth” are not allowed to have any poor Israelites living among them. Please, bear in mind too, the seven nations of the land that God destroyed were removed gradually to prevent wild beasts from increasing and outnumbering Israel.
Why Will This Debt Free System Succeeds?
- If Israel or the people of covenant obey God.
- Debt – elimination constitute a covenant between God and Israel.
- The Lord promised Israel or the people of covenant to be creditors and not debtors.
- All the above along with the treatment of the poor and
- The practice of Release (debt – forgiveness) guarantees success.
Bebt System – Who Will Administer it?
The church as a corporate entity would do well to adopt this system. It already has a relationship with its congregation. The implementation of this system in some very large congregations would only create, maintain, establish and cement new and existing relationship with pew and leaders. The church has the administrative infrastructure and personnel to effect these procedures.
On the other hand, a system where individuals maintain their personal loan records maybe best.
Finally, there is no mention of interest (usury) , no talk of savings nor investing and the Lord issues a warning to believers who refuse to pay because the “the year of release” is near. See Deuteronomy 15:9. Interest is not a component of this system of debt forgiveness and poverty elimination from among Israel. As a matter of fact, the Lord forbids the imposition of interest on Jews by other Jews, see Exodus 22:25;Leviticus 25:36,37;Deuteronomy 23:19,20. The Jews still practice this system among themselves. This is one of the many reasons for there success as a people, where-ever they are found and whatever they do. It is for this reason that believers should adopt this system and implement it. The desire of the Lord is that we “remember” him “for it is he that giveth” us “power to get wealth” so that He will “establish his covenant” with us, Deuteronomy 8:18.
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