You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this.
God wanted Israel to remember her past. Both here and just a few verses up in Deuteronomy 24:18, God jostles the memory of Israel's past slavery in Egypt. There the nation was impoverished, a minority, and discriminated against by cruel slavery. That memory was to inform them in their treatment of the poorest of the poor (see Deuteronomy 24:17-18). and in the creation of a means by which the impoverished could work diligently to provide for themselves (Deuteronomy 24:19-22).
God's insistence upon this was not just so that Israeli society would not be blighted by poverty. There was a lesson of national trust and grace and salvation to tell. And by appealing to their past, God was helping them to realize that greater spiritual reality. Helping the poor by providing sustainable work that would meet the basic needs of the impoverished showed God's grace. God cared enough to rescue slaves from Egypt. They should care for each other with that kind of rescuing love and grace.
It is good for me to look at my present through the lens of my past. God has given me a lot from my simple roots. And I must invest my life and my time with the same grace He has blessed me to share with others. It is no bother to help others when you realize just how much God has helped you!
- Posted with my iPad. The Apple Kool-Aide tastes fine.