Today’s reading begins with the stating of laws regarding divorce and concludes with a listing of curses for disobedience.
I think what I miss most often about God’s heart, is His desire for those who follow Him to take care of the poor. In verses 19-22 of Chapter 24, there are a number of commands regarding harvest that God gives to the people of Israel through Moses. During harvest, if there was a bundle of grain left behind it wasn’t to be retrieved. When harvesting olives, the tree was only to be beaten once. When harvesting grapes, the vineyard was only to be picked once. In another passage, the LORD commands that during the harvest the corners of the fields were to be rounded off leaving grain for the poor to have in order to survive.
All of these things were done to make provision for those in Israel who had less than enough. These concessions to assist the poor were in addition to all of the other requirements of sacrifices and offerings that the Israelites make in their worship of the LORD. The LORD was to receive a tenth of everything, but also sacrifices and offerings were to be made for atonement for sins and to give God the praise He desires and deserves.
I’m not certain I fully grasp how much the LORD cares for the poor. I’m not certain how much God cares for anyone. It’s really easy for me to look at the life that I have, the one that I’ve been given and blessed with by God and think as God warned against earlier in this book that I got these things through my own efforts. I’m worthy of His blessings. Others don’t have the same blessings because of some unworthiness on their part. That’s a really ugly thing to believe. Maybe I don’t think that way all the time, but certainly it’s crossed my mind. Certainly I live that way, if not all the time at least part of it.
I think I’ll leave it there for today. I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot to change. Thank God for grace while His children figure out the how, when, where, and why of relating to the world in which we live.