What are the instructions from God to care of the poor people around us?
In the Old Testament book of Leviticus God gives some directions to the Israelite farmers.
When they were gathering their harvest of wheat from the fields, they were not to take it all out of the area. They were instructed that as they moved through the fields, they should leave behind any wheat that fell upon the ground. This action was so that travelers and the poor could pick from the field’s leftovers.
These instructions are found in Leviticus 23:22 –
“‘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 for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.'”
The Lord was giving three basic instructions to help care for the poor in the community.
First, Recognize That God is the Owner of All Things
This scripture concludes with the statement, “I am the Lord your God.” This sentence reminds us that God owns everything.
It also teaches that we are just caretakers of what is already His.
Second, Develop a Practice of Generosity and Mercy to Those in Need
It also confirms that we should be merciful and benevolent. The directions of God in this sentence was clear.
“Do not take it all to yourself!”
Sharing what we have with others, who are hungry or struggling, is an expression of generosity.
This generosity understands that all of creation belongs to the Creator.
Third, Focus on the Dignity of Other People
Generosity is a way to encourage the dignity of those who need help.
This type of behavior is not a handout! It is an action that provides a resource available for those willing to get out into the field and work in the gathering process.
Many people need help. How would you apply these three instructions in helping someone who needs help?
Will you exercise wisdom and compassion by providing resources for those who need a little extra help?