Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. Leviticus 23:22
Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and occasionally a half-dollar. That’s what you’d find on the nightstand beside his bed. He’d empty his pockets each evening and leave the contents there, for he knew eventually they’d come to visit—they being his grandchildren. Over the years the kids learned to visit his nightstand as soon as they arrived. He could have put all that spare change in a coin bank or even stored it away in a savings account. But he didn’t. He delighted in leaving it there for the little ones, the precious guests in his home.
A similar mindset is what’s expressed in Leviticus 23 when it comes to bringing in the harvest from the land. God, via Moses, told the people something quite counterintuitive: not to “reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest” (v. 22). Essentially, He said, “Leave a little behind.” This instruction reminded the people that God was behind the harvest in the first place, and that He used His people to provide for those of little account (the strangers in the land).
Such thinking is definitely not the norm in our world. But it’s exactly the kind of mindset that will characterize the grateful sons and daughters of God. He delights in a generous heart. And that often comes through you and me.
What’s your first reaction to the thought of “leaving a little behind”? What’s one way you could practice such thankful generosity toward the poor or the strangers in your life?
Loving God, thank You for Your provision in my life. Give me eyes to see ways in which I can share with others, especially those poor and in need.
Today’s passage from Leviticus 23:15–22 refers to one of the annual Jewish festivals known as the Feast (or Festival) of Weeks. This Old Testament festival began fifty days after the Festival of First Fruits (see vv. 9–14). It included animal sacrifices and grain offerings and was a time of rejoicing and thanksgiving to God for His great bounty. It was also an occasion to be generous with the poor (v. 22). In the New Testament, it’s referred to as Pentecost (Acts 2:1; from the Greek word for fiftieth), the day when the Holy Spirit came upon 120 believers in Jesus gathered in an upper room (1:15).