I love God’s word and the many principles we can derive from it. I could not live life without this book, the Bible. It is an amazing, wonderful, up to date and, as well, revealing the future kind of book. There is no other earthly volume like it. To have the privilege and freedom to take time with this book on a daily basis is so life-giving and life-altering. Such was the case from a passage I read recently. It was actually, of all things, Levitical guidelines that were so striking to me and answered a long-term question concerning enabling the poor among us.
God told Israel that when they were harvesting a field and they “overlook a sheaf,” they were not to go back to harvest it. When they beat the olives from their trees, they were told to not go back over the tree a second time. They were to do the same with the grape harvest. Why? God said to, “…leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.” (Deuteronomy 24: 19-22) Again, why? Was it a welfare program? Weren’t they enabling the poor and needy to continue to be poor and needy? Actually, quite the opposite was true. It was done as a reminder that they were once slaves in Egypt.
Why help the immigrant, the fatherless or the widow in your community? Don’t some of them choose not to work? God desires to remind us that we were once a “slave” to foreign beliefs and systems. We once walked in darkness, were also poor and needy (at least spiritually) and resided as foreigners outside God’s kingdom. As the Lord calls us to serve someone or give money to help them, remember this verse so that we are reminded of where we came from.