Are you in the practice of “gleaning?” Have you ever thought about the meaning of this question?
In Leviticus 19:10, the Jewish people were instructed not to glean their vineyards but to leave some for the poor and strangers. To glean was to “take everything” in the vineyard and leave no extra. God wanted them to leave the extras. They were also instructed to leave stalks of corn in the corners of the field for the poor, the widows and fatherless. So, here’s the principle. Look around at all the ways God is blessing you and providing for you. Start being aware of all the extra things God has allowed you to accumulate. Rather than hoard the extras, look for those in need around you and allow them to glean from the extra blessings God has given you. We often accumulate more than we need. Consider generously and strategically blessing others. Trust me; God will refill your supply the more you give.
And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:10
Don’t think your generosity is a waste of resources. God says when you share your extra resources, even with a stranger, He will bless the work of your hands with more abundance. God mentions sharing your “olives and grapes” not just bread and water with those in need. He wants you to realize how much a little generosity, even of finer things, gives hope to those in need. Don’t think you always have to know all the details about how your giving is used for it to count. He specifically says that sometimes you leave something for a stranger and trust Him to bless you abundantly.
When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.
When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. Deuteronomy 24:19-21
Have you ever been in a difficult place, low on resources, and not sure where to turn for help? Ruth was there. Yet, God directed her to the field of a man named Boaz. Not only did he allow her to glean in his field, but he also went further than that. He was kind, he was inclusive, told her she didn’t need to go elsewhere, was committed, instructed his other servants to be kind to her, and he addressed all her needs in a spirit of compassion. When God speaks to you and directs you to be giving toward others, don’t give and look down on the person in need, but give and lift up that person.
Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Ruth 2:8
When choosing to give, it’s important to do it from a heart of generosity, not grudgingly, but with a spirit of joy. When you are helping someone you know, the best investment you can make is to equip them to be industrious. There’s a difference between “empowering and enabling.” You empower someone when you give them help coupled with encouragement, advice, and support in their own journey to bounce back. Boaz allowed Ruth to glean in his field and among his sheaves. He encouraged her to keep gleaning. She had to get up and glean, and every time she did, she experienced progress.
And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. Ruth 2:15
Generosity can be, and it should be, an act of worship. It may seem that acts of giving are to bless others and to change lives, but there is more to it than that. I think God wants us to be generous because He knows how much it will change OUR own life. As a matter of fact, as we listen to God and respond in faith-filled giving, from a heart of worship to God, our heart will be transformed. Pray and ask God how you can become more generous and take action in the next few days to see how God works.
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. Matthew 25:40
But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. I John 3:17-18