“Farm Harvest” by photographer Joyce Meyer (https://joycemeyer.me/); used with permission.
When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. (Leviticus 23:22a)
To be honest, that’s a command that would have been difficult for me to keep. Can you imagine? After all your hard work to prepare the soil, plant the seed, control the weeds, and bring in the harvest, you’re not supposed to gather all you can?
I can’t imagine the temptation that would have created – after all, who doesn’t like to maximize the return on their investment? It would be like refusing to accept all the interest and dividends on your investments in stocks and bonds. It sounds ludicrous. Yet that’s exactly what God commanded the Israelites. But why?
The rest of the same verse provides the answer:
Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God. (22b)
The ancient Jew was to intentionally leave some of their grain for others. So as they planted, watered, weeded and harvested, they were to do so, at least in part, with the benefit of others in mind. And don’t miss the way the verse ends. To the command, God adds the reminder – I am the Lord.
That little tag line does two important things. First, it reminds us that God has the AUTHORITY to command His children to do it. Secondly, it should also serve as a reminder that God has the POWER to meet the farmer’s needs just the same. This is crucial, because I think we don’t give to others primarily out of fear that if we do, God won’t come through for us. Yet He reminds us – He is the Lord; He is God – which means He has no limits.
Will you be intentional about leaving some of your harvest behind for others? Remember, He is the Lord your God! –Dave
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