Harvesting, Reaping, Gathering, and Leaving a Portion

When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field,
you shall not go back to get it;
it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow,
in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
When you beat your olive tree,
you shall not go over the boughs again;
it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow.
When you gather the grapes of your vineyard,
you shall not go over it again;
it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow.
Deuteronomy 24:19-21


We live in Niagara Ontario, where we both love driving through the countryside when the fruit trees bend with the weight of the crops, and the grapevines are mature for gathering in the crop. Besides seeing the blossoms on the fruit trees, this is one of our favourite things.

I won’t lie, though. We sometimes have plucked a handful of grapes off those overladen grapevines. When that rarely happens, I have to laugh and say that the last portion is to be left for foreigner. That’s us, we laugh. This originated while driving with my parents through Niagara. Dad plucked a nice juicy apple off the branch of an apple tree and told us they had left it for the foreigner, and that was biblical. We believed Dad, who was as honest as the day is long. The only exceptions being when the Bible makes allowances.

So now you know, the Bible is an excellent teacher of what is right and what is wrong.

Seriously though, the verses from Deuteronomy 24 appear heavily laden with beautiful truth.

The gist of the message is no matter what you are harvesting in your work, the example in Deuteronomy being grain, olives and grapes, we are to save a portion for the widow, the alien, the orphan, and the poor. That is a truth worth pondering. How much of our bounty, our harvest, are we willing to share?

It has been my joy to be a part of a generous Church Family. Each week, they take a collection for a worthy cause. And each week, the members give as they are able. The orphans, the widows, the prisoners, those struggling emotionally, all receive some help, and that is a beautiful thing to see. If I wasn’t a part of such a church, I would look at going elsewhere.

I recently heard of a missionary who had been working abroad for years. This missionary was not receiving much support from their own church family. That seemed wrong to me. Seems we should support both local missionaries and those who work overseas. It has always been that way since the days of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. How generous some of those churches were.

In conclusion, for today, I will remind myself to give a portion of my blessings to those in need. For I need the reminder as much as anyone. We all do.

The Bible Verses from Deuteronomy 24 may seem outdated to you, but in today’s technology and ways of communicating, it might read like this:

When you do, your e-transfers include some portion to the poor, the foreigner, the widow, and the fatherless.
After you have worked for a while, don’t forget to give generously to those in need.
Our harvest of income is to be shared with those genuinely in need.
This is a tough subject, yet I know the LORD owns it all and we do well to keep Him first and His ways.
Let us leave some for those in need then?


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