Saturday, February 25, 2012

Double Duty

Leviticus 19:9-10

When you reap the harvest of your land,
you shall not reap your field right up to its edge,
neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest.
And you shall not strip your vinyard bare,
neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vinyard.
You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner:
I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:9-10 (ESV)

I have always thought it wonderful the way God planned for the poor. It wasn't an easy life, but the poor who were willing to go out and work hard had opportunities to procure a livelihood for themselves. Many of us are familiar with this concept because of the story of Ruth, the faithful daughter-in-law who was able to provide for herself and her mother-in-law by appealing to this law that God had given so long ago at Sinai.

Today as I read these verses, I was struck: not only did God provide for the poor, but He also set up a system that would minimize boundary quarrels. Farmers on adjoining properties had a natural, God-ordained buffer zone at the edges of their land. If they followed this law, there should have been no quibbling over "You're harvesting in my field!" and, "No! You're harvesting in my field!" Any judge could easily point out, "You are both in the wrong if you are arguing over this. Both of you are harvesting too much and forgetting to obey God and leave the edges for the poor!"

I should not be surprised at the brilliance of God's plans. God is just amazing.

1 comment:

  1. Great thought. I'd never thought about this from the point of view of keeping the peace between adjacent landowners...