25 “If you lend money to any of my poor people with you, you should not be like a creditor to him; you should not require interest from him. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you should return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 because that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body; in what else would he sleep? Then if he cries out to me, I will respond, because I am compassionate. 28 “You should not demean God, nor curse a leader of your people. 29 “You should not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outpouring of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you should give to me. 30 You should do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it should be with its mother; on the eighth day you should give it to me. 31 “You should be set apart for me. For that reason you should not eat any flesh that is torn by animals in the field; you should throw it to the dogs.
laws about giving
These rules were particularly applicable to the wealthy in the covenant community. Those with a bit more disposable income would be tempted to use it to their advantage, charging their neighbors interest on loans. The rich might also be tempted to think the normal societal rules about religious talk, or respect for leaders, or worship do not apply to them as they do to the little people. These rules were a reminder that the wealthy were definitely a part of the holy community, and it was particularly important for them to demonstrate respect for others and dedication to the LORD. If they did not do so, it would be defiling the whole community. It would be like eating the carcass of an animal that had been killed by other animals in the field.
LORD, the world is watching. May we be people who are beyond reproach, sharing with the less fortunate whenever possible, and so demonstrating our connection to you.