The Israelites, under the Law, were to take very specific measures toward caring for their neighbors in need. Laws like this found in Leviticus ensured that there would be food available for those who needed it, and not simply as acts of goodwill… they were directives from the Lord Himself. So as farmers planted their fields, in their hearts they knew that some of the future harvest would not be for them, but rather for those who did not have the resources to provide food for themselves.
Today our economy is based largely in manufacturing and service industries, so to interact with this text means we might have to get creative, but that’s what makes it exciting to watch the Spirit of God at work in our lives! What does it mean today to set our hands to the plow with our neighbors in mind?
To use the picture of “not going over your vineyard a second time,” might be to look at how much you’ve accumulated in a season of earning and to be able to say, “that’s enough.” Not squeezing every dime from an opportunity (i.e. rental property), but rather calculating the appropriate costs and intentionally leaving prices within reach for lower income families could be an act of obedience when it’s done in faith. Monthly recurring giving is a way of automatically allocating a portion of your earnings to fund organizations that provide shelter, food, and care for the poor. In seasons of abundant harvest, increase your giving.
I’m just thinking out loud, and there are so many ways to be faithful to this command from God. The point is, we should seek wisdom, look for opportunities within our context, and then do it!
Take some time to journal. Reflect on your own “harvest”, and ask God to help you think of ways to use your overflow to bless others. If you’re ready, go ahead and take action!