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Biblical Interpretation
 Shovel Shack : Biblical Interpretation
Subject Topic: God’s View of the Poor and Stranger
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gregoryfl
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Joined: Jan-24-08
Location: United States
Posts: 1311
Posted: Jun-19-10 at 4:18pm | IP Logged  

(Lev 19:1) Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

(Lev 19:2) "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and tell them, 'You shall be holy; for I Yahweh your God am holy.


In describing how they are to be holy, Yahweh describes various things in verses 3 to 18. If you look carefully, you will notice that the majority of things listed in verses 3-10 concern man's relationship to God. The majority of the things listed in verses 11-18 concern man's relationship with man. We can further see that these are 2 sections designed by God to be read as 2 separate parts because of the 2 types of phrases given. Notice that in verses 3-10, we find the phrase I am Yahweh your God. Then notice a change in verses 11-18 to I am Yahweh. He is teaching us a very beautiful lesson here by doing this, which I want to share with you. Let's start by looking at the verses in their 2 sections.


SECTION ONE


(Lev 19:3) " 'Each one of you shall respect his mother and his father. You shall keep my Sabbaths. I am Yahweh your God.

(Lev 19:4) " 'Don't turn to idols, nor make molten gods for yourselves. I am Yahweh your God.

(Lev 19:5) " 'When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted.

(Lev 19:6) It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day: and if anything remains until the third day, it shall be burned with fire.

(Lev 19:7) If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It will not be accepted;

(Lev 19:8) but everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the holy thing of Yahweh, and that soul shall be cut off from his people.


(Lev 19:9) " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.

(Lev 19:10) You shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigner. I am Yahweh your God.


SECTION TWO


(Lev 19:11) " 'You shall not steal; neither shall you deal falsely, nor lie to one another.

(Lev 19:12) " 'You shall not swear by my name falsely, and profane the name of your God. I am Yahweh.

(Lev 19:13) " 'You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.

(Lev 19:14) " 'You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind; but you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh.

(Lev 19:15) " 'You shall do no injustice in judgment: you shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but you shall judge your neighbor in righteousness.

(Lev 19:16) " 'You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people; neither shall you stand against the life of your neighbor. I am Yahweh.

(Lev 19:17) " 'You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.

(Lev 19:18) " 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yahweh.


Upon carefully reading these verses, there appears to be one part that is out of place. Notice that verses 9 and 10 speak of God's desire for those who reap from the land to do so in such a way that part of the harvest is left over for the poor and stranger. The reason it appears to be out of place is because that is speaking of how man should relate to man. Why then, was it put here, in the section dealing with man's relationship with God, and not in the second section dealing with man's relationship with his fellow man?

Herein is the beauty of how God looks at things. He is teaching us that while strangers and poor ones typically are the forgotten ones in society, which has been the case throughout history, God views them as so important, that, in putting this command in the section with regard to man's relationship with God, he is saying, in effect, that treating them in this way is the same as treating God himself! God is, in a sense, equating these normally forgotten ones with himself!

Can we think of any other scriptures which relate thematically with this one? I am reminded of Jesus' words:

(Mat 25:40) "The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

Do you feel left out, forgotten, cast away by others? Know this brothers and sisters, you are anything BUT that with your loving Father. He values you so, so much.


Ron

Edited by gregoryfl on Jun-19-10 at 4:18pm


      

What do you see when you look at me? Not the visible me that your eyes can see. For in Christ I am dead, yet alive and free. Free to be it all, as he lives in me.
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