Together in Christ: 'Conduits of Blessing Change the World' — Leviticus 19:9-10

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

[The Lord told Moses to give these instructions to the Israelites:] "When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. It is the same with your grape crop — do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God."

— Leviticus 19:9-10 NLT

Key Thought

As I am reading through the Bible, I am currently in the Torah [1] in my daily Bible reading. Repeatedly, the Scriptures have emphasized God's demand to care for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner who lived among His people. [2] I knew these passages were present but never realized how pervasive they are — and I am not yet to the prophets who strongly emphasize these demands as well. [3] Two vital principles emerge:

  1. Caring for the disadvantaged — the forgotten, marginalized, and needy — is based upon God's righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful justice. [4]
  2. God blesses those willing to be conduits of His blessings to the disadvantaged, and through them, to others. [5]

The beautiful story of Ruth [6] reminds us how God's commands in our verses today changed history! Ruth was a foreigner who exhibited God's grace and faithfulness to her widowed mother-in-law. She cared for a widow in ways similar to what Paul told Timothy to teach in the churches where he was. [7] Boaz practiced the principle taught in our verses today and provided for Ruth, which set the stage for him to take Ruth as his wife. [8] Boaz knew the importance of welcoming a foreigner because his mother was Rahab, the former Canaanite prostitute who hid God's spies in Jericho and was welcomed into the people of Israel. [9] God affirmed the character of Boaz and the faithfulness of these women by making them ancestors of King David and His Messiah, the Lord Jesus. [10]

The apostle Paul powerfully articulated this principle about being conduits of compassion, concern, and care to bless others, which, in turn, ultimately blesses us:

Remember this — a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who sows generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully." And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say,

"They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever."

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then breads to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving — the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. [11]

[1] The Torah — also called "The Law of Moses" or the "The Books of Moses" and "The Pentateuch" — comprises the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
[2] Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 10:18, 14:29, 16:11-19 and other passages.
[3] Isaiah 1:17, 23, 10:2; Jeremiah 7:6, 22:3, 49:11 and other passages.
[4] Deuteronomy 10:18, 14:29; Psalm 146:9; James 1:27.
[5] Deuteronomy 24:19; 2 Corinthians 9:6-12.
[6] Ruth 1:1-22, 2:1-23, 3:1-18, 4:1-22.
[7] 1 Timothy 5:2-11.
[8] Ruth 2:1-23, 3:1-18.
[9] Joshua 2:1-15, 6:17-25; Ruth 4:16-22.
[10] Matthew 1:1-17.
[11] 2 Corinthians 9:6-12.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, thank You for the gift of the Scriptures that not only tell us of Your heart for widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor but also give us the beautiful example of Ruth and her family's story to see it in action. Please use me to bless others, who will bless future generations I may never know until I meet them in glory with You. I thank You and commit to living Your righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful justice to the people around me. In Jesus' name. Amen!

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ruth 1:1-22, 2:1-23, 3:1-18, 4:1-22
  • Matthew 1:1-17

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Illustration

Illustration of Leviticus 19:9-10 NLT — [The Lord told Moses to give these instructions to the Israelites:] "When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. It is the same with your grape crop — do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord  your God."

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.