Never Forgotten

It makes sense.  I see the connections and consistent messages.

One of the main reasons I love reading the entire Bible every year is the fact that I can clearly see the topics that regularly show up and this tells me what is important to God.

One of the topics that is a main theme throughout God’s word is how much God loves and cares for poor people.  From the beginning of time to the end, the poor in our midst are close to God’s heart.

In Leviticus 19 we read how God directs the Israelites not to clear their fields again after their first harvest.  They needed to leave the remaining grain, olives and grapes for the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows.

At this time in history, showing any care for the poor was not normal behavior.  Usually the fields were picked a second time to make sure the landowner got every single grape or olive or stalk of grain.  They wanted it all for themselves – there was no thought of people less fortunate.

Sound familiar?  Our culture is not very different, is it?  We have houses and sheds and garages and storage units full of stuff we’re not using.  Many of these are things that other people could use and would really benefit from.  But we would have to be willing to give it away.

I recently saw a post on Facebook suggesting that, instead of giving up chocolate or TV or anything else that doesn’t benefit others for lent, maybe each day we could take one thing we own but don’t use and put it into a bag.  Then at Easter we could give this bag away to a charity or thrift store.

What do you think?

This is the idea God was introducing to the Israelites in Leviticus – don’t keep it all for yourself.  Give some away.

God speaks often and loudly in the Bible about how much he cares for the less fortunate people around us.  Do you think he is happy about how you and I care for them?

Please our eyes and our hearts, Abba Father.

Blessed When Others Give

Ruth, a Moabite woman, decided to go back to her mother-in-law’s homeland with her after both of their husbands died.  We read in Ruth 2 that, when they got back to Bethlehem, Ruth went to the field of her clansmen to pick the leftover grain.march 22 2015 blessed by other's extras

This reminded me of the section we read in Deuteronomy a couple of weeks ago where God commanded the Israelites to leave the excess grain in the field after harvesting – they were not to go back over the field.  This excess was for the poor, the strangers and the widows in their community.

Now we see Ruth and Naomi benefitting from this command.

How interesting!

Especially considering that Ruth would become the great-grandmother of King David and this puts her in the lineage of Jesus.  She was an important person in our family of faith.

And God provided for her through other people giving away their excess.

We know God still does this today.  When we give ‘stuff’ away, others benefit.  God provides for others using the stuff that we clean out of our closets or our sheds or our garages.

That reminds me – there are a couple of tubs of ‘stuff’ in my shed I really need to go through.  I haven’t thought of those tubs since we moved in 4 years ago.  There might be some good things I can pass along as a blessing to someone else.  We obviously don’t use it  🙂

Please open our eyes, Abba Father.