When asked what she wanted for Christmas the little girl responded, “I want an I Phone and everything that starts with I.” You have to love the simple honesty of a child. How many adults would admit to the same self-gratification?
Leviticus 19:9,10—When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap to the very edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You must not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am Yahweh your God.
The Bible was written when agriculture and not industry dominated society. Fear of droughts in the Middle East was a real and present threat and one could understand why people would hoard or even be stingy about collecting food. But God’s design for His people never included the word miserly or the notion that they would focus solely on feeding their own appetites. He wanted the Israelites to be generous and that extended to the very thing they considered precious—food.
Only in Scripture when God’s people are deliberately living in disobedience to His commands does He turn His back on the poor. Otherwise, seven different books in the Old Testament admonish the Israelites to help the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows. And in three of those books with the addition of Hosea, God promises Himself to look after those who are vulnerable.
Jesus told His disciples, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make money-bags for yourselves that won’t grow old, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys” (Luke 12:33). His brother James wrote, “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27). Whether it be Christmas, a birthday, time of harvest or time of paycheck, what sets us apart as people of faith is our ability to see beyond “I” to help others. If God has filled your hands, your heart and your house, look around for those in need of help and be grateful to have the ability to give! May God bless you as you obey Him by blessing those in need of gleaning!
Much of our modern philanthropy is based on the motive of giving to the poor man because he deserves it, or because we are distressed at seeing him poor. Jesus never taught charity from those motives: He said, ‘Give to the one who asks you, not because he deserves it, but because I tell you to.’ The great motive in all giving is Jesus Christ’s command.—Oswald Chambers in Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
©2012 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)