“On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 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. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord your God.’” (Leviticus 23:21-22)
Society must have guidelines for ongoing order. God’s people provide a continuing witness through their ongoing practices. The rhythm of the calendar must provide time to work and time to celebrate the fruits of our labor which God provides. The requirement of the Israelites not to glean their fields (to leave a portion of he harvest in the field) was a gracious act of God on behalf of he poor and foreigners who happened to be in the vicinity. God is very much concerned for those who cannot help themselves. Perhaps this commandment is the justification for the church to help develop a modern welfare system. Even today, if you drive through agricultural areas, yo will notice edges of the fields, where the farmers have grown their crops to the edges, but at harvest time, those edges remain in place and are not harvested, but are left for those who may need the fruit of the harvest to survive. I learned this working on my uncle’s cotton farm in West Texas, and this lesson is still taught by the farmer to his children and the churches continue to preach on this requirement and why.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, this is a lesson that even in today’s society, continues wherever crops are grown: whether the crops are vegetables, fruits, wheat or whatever crop is grown. It is done in appreciation to You, who have provided so richly to all of us and even to those who do not grow, that they are to take care of the poor and aliens in our lands. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“If you don’t have anything to pray about, look around you, there are many who need to be prayed for.”
“Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety.” (Leviticus 25:18-19)
One who lives a godly life can expect generally a peaceable life. One goal of God’s commands and moral limits is to establish a safe, peaceful social order for all. The rules of how to live and work on farms, also applies to any other work that we find in our societies today. You must learn to care for the equipment you use and also the tools necessary to repair the equipment, and the maintenance required so that everything on the farm is in good working order at all time. The same is true for an offices, homes, lawnmowers, computers, or anything else you must depend upon, in order to get the job done in the most efficient and orderly manner as possible and with the least amount of downtime.
“Do not test the Lord your God as you did at Massah. Be sue to keep the commands of he Lord your God and he stipulations and decrees he has given you. God what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers.” (Deuteronomy 6:17-18)
God’s law establishes an order most outsiders recognize as wise and desirable. They meed all standards of righteousness. Humans have no reason to criticize or change God’s social order.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“If you see your brother’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to him. If the brother does not live near you or if you do not know who he is, take in home with you and keep it until he comes looking for it. Then give it back to him. Do the same if yo find your brother’s donkey or this cloak or anything he loses. Do not ignore it. If you see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help him get it to its feet. (Deuteronomy 22:1-4)
The ethical cohesiveness of a community depends upon mutual respect and care of property, for ourselves and for this of others. Finder’s keepers is not a biblical attitude. We must respect and restore property belonging to others.