Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Leave Something for Them

Leave Something for Them

Deuteronomy 24:19
When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the Alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

God always made provision for the poor. Jesus said, the poor will always be amongst us. With that in mind God and Jesus reminds us that taking care of the poor is a priority for believers. God gives us the ability to be prosperous not just for our own self-preservation but that we might purposely leave something behind for the least of these. Being poor is not a curse but because we live in an imperfect world, where the scales of justice are off balance, often times the poor don’t get their fair share.

KRS One said, “Its hard to get Justice on Stolen Land.” America has a legacy of injustice and perpetuated poverty in our neglect of Justice and our love affair with capitalism. We can break this cycle of poverty by leaving something for them.

Whenever someone harvested a field in the Old Testament they would bind up stalks of grain called sheaves. Inevitably, some of these sheaves would fall out as they were being harvested. God commanded that they not be picked up but instead leave them behind for three groups of poor people:

1. Aliens. God reminded the Israelites that they were once aliens in Egypt and he provided for them. In America, we are challenged to treat “illegal” aliens with respect and compassion. It’s amazing that “illegal” aliens are only illegal when we don’t want to give them rights as citizens but they are not illegal when it comes to doing a dirty work or watching our children. We should take care of aliens because we used to call them immigrants.

2. Fatherless. The Fatherless in the old and New Testament were also called orphans. These were children who lost their father to an early death. Today, they are children from single parent homes. Statistically, children who come from homes without fathers are more likely to get involved with a life of crime. We should make sure that we put our money toward outreach efforts to reach fatherless children. Helping them today will ensure they will help you tomorrow.

3. Widows are women 60 years old or older who don’t have a husband or families to assist them. Women younger than that are considered young enough to work and fend for themselves. I think that we should help single mothers by empowering them to find jobs, attain education, and assist in providing a supportive environment for developing their children through ministry and mentorship. When we fail to empower younger women we set them up for failure. 1 Timothy 5:11-15

11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.

In helping the least of these we also do unto Jesus. It’s important that when God blesses us with a harvest that we leave some for them.

Dear God,

Help me to be mindful of the poor. There are people around us who are hurting and in need of help. Today, help me to leave something for the people who are coming behind me. Thank you for letting somebody help me when I was in need. Thank you for my harvest and thank you for giving me something to leave for the least of these.

In Jesus Name,

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