Audio Only Reading of Clenched Fists
Bible Reading Leviticus 19:9-18
- Focus Scripture: Leviticus 19:9 ‘ Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.”
- Leviticus 19:9 KJV And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
Reap- (Kalah in Hebrew) To be complete, at the end, accomplished, or spent. To shorten.
These verses articulate a communal ethic, defined by mutual provision and respect. The exhortations offered cover a range of issues, touching on the agricultural, legal, and social aspects of life. – *Resource Family Life Study Bible
We should not reap to the very end of our field…
What if we are not to use up everything we are given, whether we have an actual farm or not? That would mean planning and to trust the Lord to provide. Let’s focus our attention on the phrase, “edge of your field”. What sits at your edge? Is there anything missing? Take stock of what you own. Do you have things that are not under your roof? What surrounds the area you call home? We would certainly notice if our vehicles or more expensive items were missing but, not the small, easily replaceable things. So, if it’s left outside unprotected, on the perimeter, is it fair game for anyone to take? Well no, of course not. Our moral barometers (Holy Spirit) tell us that it is wrong to take what we do not own or borrow what we do not ask for. Meditating on verse 9 would require us to study with a heart of understanding. That seems simple but, for some of us our credit card debt, unemployment, underinsured afflicted lives has us scraping the edge. Fear clenches the fists of the afflicted. Paralyzing fear blocks attempts at helping a neighbor and may cause extreme measures of guarding possessions with alarms, locks, bolts, and weapons. (I’m not suggesting we stop basic safeguards against theft.) God knows our struggles. But, when did we get to the point of saying no, not right now, I can’t help you, I need this more than you do?
This world (Satan) will deceive us. We will feel pressured (tempted) to buy the new, next, upgraded, best version of a product and obtain it by any means necessary. This world tells us it’s ok to go into debt to purchase designer shoes, expensive homes, vehicles, and boutique educations. This world tells us we can pay for it later, that we have all the time in the world. This world tells we need to keep up appearances or else our neighbors will “think” we are struggling. This world wants us to believe that if we don’t do it ourselves it won’t get done, and giving is wrong because we worked for what we have and so can they. But God! He directs us to a higher understanding of community and empowers us to be the answer to our neighbors’ struggles. We can pray to God and ask Him to show us what we CAN do.
Psalm 10:14 Tells us that God sees what happens to the unfortunate and we can commit ourselves to Him. That means that the wicked evil deeds that are done, do not have to be faced alone. God is with us. Being believers in Christ we can trust that our Lord will protect and provide for us. The Lord hears the cries of those who humbly come before Him. We do the natural by working through the spiritual gifts He has given us and He does the supernatural by giving us peace in our circumstances.
Leviticus 19:9-18 details how to act responsibly through a love of ourselves. We are able to love our neighbors more than our possessions. When we can do that, we will not clench our fists the moment we hear someone requires our assistance; nor will we find an excuse not to be emotionally or physically available to someone in distress. Our individual relationships with our Lord will leave us so full spiritually that we will be able to give abundantly physically. If we are constantly walking around the outside looking for thieves we will miss whats inside being taken away.
Let’s unclench our fists, humble ourselves before the Lord and ask Him to renew a right spirit from within. Paying attention to what God desires for us and our relationship with Him we will grow in our given purpose.
Click to Download and Print Journal Prompts (Clenched Fists)-3
- Do I love myself? If you have trouble saying an immediate yes, I pray you will seek counseling and get the help you need; the Lord is with you. Allow Him to guide you to a close friend, relative, pastor, or professional. You do not have to suffer alone. There are several free and anonymous ways to initiate your road to recovery and one resource 1-800-273-TALK can set you on the right path.
- I am struggling mentally, spiritually, and financially, I am of no use to anyone because I’m a mess. How can I allow God to show me a way out? Have I repented, prayed, and asked for help?
- The meaning of this life is to know God and the reward is to see Him in Eternity one day. What actions am I taking to be a good servant and allowing God to see my sincere efforts?
- How do I measure happiness? Is it in my possessions or the wealth I’ve accumulated? Am I satisfied with what I have or am I constantly needing more? At the end of the day, what brings joy to my heart?
- What is one thing I can let go of today? Think about one possession you would not allow anyone to use and let someone borrow it. Taking a small step of unclenching our fists is one step towards God and away from material idol worship. Buy a cup of coffee for a stranger, or allow someone to take the parking space you’ve circled the block ten times looking for. We make room for love when we think from the perspective of kindness.
- Give and take. Am I a giver or taker? Am I able to give to those I see as beneath me but not to those I deem as above? We are not to judge either and do according to the will of God. We don’t know the totality of anyone else’s circumstances, sometimes we don’t have a complete understanding of our own. If we would do for one then we should do it for everyone. We don’t have to worry about being used or mistreated because the Bible prepares us for it. When we read God’s word for understanding He reveals that this life will not be easy. God gave us the greatest example of unconditional love when He sent Jesus Christ to walk this earth. Reading the Gospels we learn we will not avoid hardships and pain but rather we can view it as a lesson to strengthen us.
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Resource Mentioned – Faithlife Study Bible (FSB) Copyright 2012 LOGOS Bible Software