Text: Leviticus 23:9-22 (KJV)
9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.
13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.
14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.
19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.
21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.
Key Verse: “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.” – (Leviticus 23:22)
Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, had just returned from Moab after losing virtually everything. In Bethlehem Judah, then, they were equivalent to the needy and strangers. Ruth, the Moabites, had to glean in the field of Boaz to meet her basic needs and that of her mother-in-law (Ruth 2:1-3).
God had this group of people in mind when He instructed the Israelites to always leave the corners of their field ‘unharvested’ and any gleaning of their harvest ‘ungathered’ for the poor and strangers. In Leviticus 19:9,10, specifically, the Lord God affirms: “when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest… thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger”.
From our text today, two feasts of holy convocation stand out. The first relates the feast of the first fruits, which also denotes the offering of the first crops harvested in a year. The second is the feast of Pentecost, which signifies thanksgiving and joy over bountiful harvest. Each of these feasts involves harvesting of crops and God’s directive was that the corner of the field and any gleaning of the harvest should be left for the needy for there would always be poor people in the land.
The children of Israel could not eat crops of their harvest until they had offered the first fruits. Today, God expects us to do the same. He expects that all His children set aside His portion first. He expects that we give Him the first place in our heart and in the form of freewill offerings, tithes, and giving for church projects.
Aside, God expects that we make provision for the needy in the church. Believers must therefore honour this age-long directive of God, especially to those of the household of faith.
Thought For The Day: Catering for the needy is God’s age-long commandment.
The Bible In One Year: Amos 6-9
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.
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