“And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.” —Leviticus 23:22

               Jesus had said, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.”  There was an expectation that we would help the poor.  In the verse above we see that during harvest the land owners were not to harvest along the edge of their fields or gather the gleanings.  Instead, they were to leave those for the poor.

               What is interesting in this passage is that the harvesters were not to harvest for the poor, but to leave the edge of the fields and the gleanings for the poor to harvest.  Those poor who could work were expected to do their own harvesting.  The food was free, but they had to work to get it.  We see this beautifully illustrated in the book of Ruth— “And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, ‘Please let me go into the fields and glean heads of grain after someone in whose sight I may find favor’” (Ruth 2:2).

               Jesus said that the poor would always be among us, but He did not say that those who could work for the food given them shouldn’t work for it.  Those in Ruth’s day had to work for the food given to them and that was the general consensus among the nation of Israel.  There were those who could not work and needed to be given food freely, but then there were those who were poor and could work.  They were expected to glean in the fields to get food for themselves and not just be given it.

               So, it should be in our society today.  Yes, there are those who cannot work for health reasons and maybe other rare occasions, but then you have those who could work but don’t.  They just want to get things for free and we have a government that enables this.  It is not doing any favors to give food freely to those who make the choice not to work.  It causes them to become dependent on getting things freely without working and stifles their creativity.  Will our government change its course?  It is doubtful. Our government recklessly spends and with all the reckless spending we will eventually collapse.  How could we not?  All of this is “designed” destroy us.  That is the desire of Satan (II Timothy 2:25-26; I Peter 5:8).  He is the great manipulator of people to bring about his destructive purposes.

               Brothers and sisters, fellow followers of Jesus, let us be discerning and help those who truly need help and don’t enable those who have made the choice to not work and to be in the situation they are in.  Yes, Dear Father, please help me to discern those who truly need help and those who do not.  May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus.

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