Leviticus 19:9-10 – “Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10’Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.” NASU
It is impossible even in a cursory reading of the Bible to fail to notice that God is a Giving God and has a heart of charity. The Bible overflows with scriptures references to giving to the poor and needy and having a charitable spirit and attitude. This passage, one of the earliest regarding the Law and Spirit of Charity gives a clear example of the expectation of our Heavenly Father regarding our caring for those less fortunate.
Notice, the directive, “…when you reap the harvest of your land, you SHALL NOT REAP to the very corners of your field…” Yes, this is speaking about farming but, as with most passages in the Bible, it goes far beyond farming. This is a principle of life that we are to leave “handfuls on purpose” for those who are needy and less fortunate. That principle is or should be carried forth into every facet of our lives. Proverbs 11:24 speaks to this principle, “There is one who scatters and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.”
When we consider what God has given us in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross how can we not recognize that we are simply stewards and not owners and gladly share a portion (the corners of our fields) with those in need? I contend that God not only desires for us to be givers but expects it of us. Matthew 6:2 did not say IF YOU GIVE but rather WHEN YOU GIVE. He also desires that we give for the right reasons. The motive is always important to God and as we study His Word we find that He pays more attention to the heart than the act. He also notices the proportion more than the amount. Remember the widow with her two mites and Jesus said, “She gave more than all because she gave all…” In truth, giving is an act of worship because it demonstrates our love for, confidence in, and thankfulness toward God and His provisions for us. He even says in Proverbs 19:17 that when we give to the poor we are lending to the Lord and God never fails to repay.
This truth extends far beyond money or possessions but sharing love, compassion, concern, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, friendship, and more. It covers every area of life or should. If we have the heart of the Father and the heart of Jesus we will be charitable. Luke 6:38 gives us the principle in a powerful package, “Give, and IT (whatever you give) will be given to you. They (people) will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” [Emphasis and notation mine]. The principle is that if we develop a Heart of Charity and follow God’s Laws of Harvest or Charity we will reap. When we demonstrate the heart of God in leaving handfuls on purpose, God will enlarge our fields, expand our borders, increase our ability to give and we can carve out larger corners of our fields for the needy.
Giving and Charity expresses the heart of God and demonstrates our confidence in God and His Promises. It is both an act of worship and a Christian responsibility that moves the heart of God and opens new doors for ministry and entrance into the Abundant Life that Jesus came to give.
God, bless you as you open your hearts and your hands as the Spirit of God directs!