An unplowed field produces food for the poor, but injustice sweeps it away.
— Proverbs 13:23
In ancient Israel, the people were commanded to leave a share of the crops in their fields for the poor. Anything that was left over from harvesting was to be left for people who were less fortunate—foreigners, widows, and the fatherless (see Deuteronomy 24:19). This practice enters into the story of Ruth as well (see Ruth 2).
The Israelites were commanded by God to follow rules like these so that justice would be a normal part of their daily living. They were called to steward their wealth in a way that always left room for helping people who were disadvantaged and who were therefore often poor and needy.
Not many of us “live off the land” these days, but we can still find ways to save portions of our income and give material goods to people who are less fortunate. Maybe this could mean setting aside a portion of your groceries for a local food bank, or offering an empty room in your house to a child in need of care. The opportunities are many!
How might you apply this principle to your own life and express kindness to people who are struggling today?
Gracious God, you have given us the greatest treasure in Jesus, but we often fail to offer our earthly treasures to you in return. Grant us a heart of kindness and justice to help people who are less fortunate than we are. Amen.