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EDGES...are defined and viewed in so many ways. Corners come to mind, the sharpness of a cutting blade, snow skis, ice skating blades, the line or area farthest from the middle; the edges of one’s beard, the corners or edges of a structure or a field. I find it sometimes scary to stand along the edges of a high cliff.


I read today about a woman who was mourning the death of her mother. She said her daily routine “couldn’t accommodate the raw edges of my grief.” We can all understand that if you have ever lost a loved one.


Recently, as my wife was studying Leviticus, she came to some of the ordinances God gave Israel. She shared one with me and said, “that’s a life message for today.” Agriculture and crops are a very big part of the economy of any nation. Anyone who has run a farming operation knows how important it is to maximize the yield from every crop. Grains were especially prevalent to early Israel, as they are even today. So, with the maximum yield thought in mind, wouldn’t you think the Creator God would command every farmer not to lose any grain, but to gather it all and prosper, to be a good and faithful steward of the land?


But as usual, faith gets in the way. He commands, and He expects and delights in our obedience. Listen to what God said. “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners/edges of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest” (Lev. 19:9). But why, they and we might ask? Well, He goes on to explain. “And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God” (vs. 10). The why is really who! The poor and the stranger!

By the way, Bill, what does gleaning mean?
It is to “gather what (grain) is left by reapers.” Today,
it would be with reaping machines; then it would
have been sickles by hand.

The poor and stranger were permitted to go into a harvested field and gather all the remaining grain for their food supply. They actually could rub the wheat in their hands and eat it right there. Or use it to prepare bread or other foods later. It meant survival to them. God basically said to the landowner; tithe the edges of your field, and then I will prosper you. They had to operate by faith. How tempting it is to hoard every last drop of our earnings. God knew and knows that about fallen man.


I have a friend who was a spiritual mentor to me, and also a business partner for a season. In every real estate deal, at closing he would remind us to always leave something on the table for the other party, to never seek the very last drop from a deal.That way, the other party would want to do business with us again. And it would give us a chance to witness about your faith. Leave the gleanings!


What does all this say about our stewardship of the fruit from our labors? Do you always go for the jugular in your business dealings? Are you callous to the needs of the poor and needy? Jesus said to His disciples; “For you have the poor with you always.” (Mt. 26:11a)


We may not have a field of grain, but we do have what God has provided to us. What is your attitude about possessions? Are they ‘all mine’, or all His, for us to manage by faith? What are you doing with the edges of your ‘field’? Are you being obedient to His commands and receiving blessing upon blessing from Him? It’s a great question to ponder!


And while you are pondering while wandering through your ‘fields of grain’, grab a handful and chew on this promise.“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Mal. 3:10). Any questions?


Copyright 2015

Bill C. Dotson



Scriptures are from the New King James Version

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