Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Leave the Corners
Today’s Bible Reading: Leviticus 23-24, Psalm 24, Acts 21
Topic: Providing for the Needy
SCRIPTURE: Leviticus 23:22
22 “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.”
(Lev 23:22 NKJV)
This verse speaks of a principle that is repeated often in the Bible—the principle of providing for those in need. The term “corners of your field” literally can mean corners, edges, sides, ends… the idea is that a significant portion should be left. This is further reinforced when it says, “nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest.” Note also that these gleanings are not just to be left for the poor, but for the stranger. The word for stranger here may also be rendered as foreigner or traveler—someone passing through.
The concept is clear: A portion of what God has blessed you with is to be left or given for the use of the others who may need it. And then God punctuates this by saying, “I am the LORD Your God.” Adding the phrase, “I am the LORD your God” is like adding an exclamation point! God is saying, “Hey, this isn’t something Moses just decided to write in here, this is ME—God speaking!—Pay attention to this—this is important!”
Let me make three quick points about this principle:
First, the principle of providing for those in need was to be a way of life for the Hebrew people. We, likewise should consider it a way of life today; not as a burdensome obligation, but as a moral and ethical responsibility that we just do.
Secondly, the giving or leaving of provisions for the use of the poor or the traveler or the foreigner, was to be done ungrudgingly and with an attitude that was not judgmental toward the recipients.
And, finally, this principle was meant to be practiced by all—the poor as well as the rich. Some of us are just so blessed that we can share in abundance. But even if you are one who is poor and terribly downtrodden, there will always be something that you yet can give or share with others.
Merciful Lord, thank you for your blessings to me. I offer you my sincere thankfulness. But Lord, help me to not only give my thanks to You with my words, but to show You my thankfulness by sharing with others of the fruits you have blessed me with. May generosity be manifest in my life through Christ Jesus. Amen. –AP