“When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap the very edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You must not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:9-10.
As the Hebrews were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, God gave them the Law and instructed Moses on how the Law was to be followed. The 613 laws that make up the Law cover every aspect of life, from cleanliness and sanitation codes to the proper methods of offering sacrifices. There was not a single area or aspect of daily life that the Law does not touch upon. One of the purposes of the Law was to make God’s people reflect upon Him throughout the day, in everything they did.
God gave the Israelites very clear instructions on how to treat one another, specifically about how they were to take care of each other. In this text, God is telling the Hebrews how to ensure the poor around them were provided for. When the Hebrews were harvesting their wheat or grapes, they were to leave an area unharvested and to leave whatever fell on the ground, so that those who had no land or means of farming could come and gather the leftover and fallen wheat or grapes to sustain themselves. God wanted to illustrate to the Hebrews that it was their duty to one another to take care of each other. It made no difference if they where rich or poor, they were all in the Promised Land together, and they were all equals.
This is a lesson that is hard for us to understand today. Our world is much more fast-paced and we look out only for ourselves because it is easier for us to focus only on our own lives. Taking care of those around us who are less fortunate is not always a concern of ours. In fact, we often blame the poor for being in the position they are in. When people to speak out about helping the less fortunate, they are branded as radicals and socialists. We must remember the moral guidelines of Law that God gave to the Hebrews, and employ those statutes in our daily lives. We must take care of each other, for in this world, our fellow believers are all we have. We are all in this together.