"No One Goes Hungry"
There's a lot I find confusing about the Law. There are rules and practices that don't make sense to me, and that's okay because I can trust that God knows better. At least I can trust that as I look back on the Old Testament and can see the bigger picture now. But even in all the weird and sometimes seemingly harsh rules God lays out, He does it all because He loves us.
Now we don't live under the Old Testament Law...we do have other rules to live by though as Christians. When you love Jesus they don't feel as restrictive though...Jesus is so worth it. But living the way God created us to, following His rules, we experience life at the fullest.
I was reminded of how cool God's Law in the Old Testament is today when I came to Leviticus 19:9-10..
"When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God."
It's kind of cool how at the end of most of these rules God lays out He simply says, "I am the Lord your God." It's like He's anticipating a, "but why?" and He just goes ahead and answers it already.
When I read this verse today I was reminded of one of Francine River's books. In "Lineage of Grace" she tells the story of 5 women listed in the genealogy of Christ, including Ruth.
Ruth is a foreign woman who faithfully decides to stay with her Hebrew mother-in-law, Naomi. She is determined to remain by her side even after her husband has passed away, even when they are destined for extreme poverty, even when entering Naomi's country will leave Ruth ostracized because she is a foreigner. She is determined because she is convinced that Naomi's God is the one true God. They lived together in poverty and Ruth selflessly and faithfully took care of her mother-in-law by gleaning leftover wheat in another man's field. A man she would end up marrying in God's abundant grace and faithfulness.
In Francine River's depiction of Ruth, Naomi gives Ruth the idea to go glean in someone else's field. Rivers gave Naomi a narrative that opened my eyes to just how thoughtful and good God's Law is.
"Naomi leaned back... 'The Lord commanded that no one reap to the edges or corners of their fields. The grain that grows there is set aside for the poor to gather.' She looked out at the field again...deep in thought. 'When all is done according to the ways of the Lord, no one goes hungry.'
Ruth closed her eyes in relief and bowed her head...here was the God who loved His people and provided for them--even the poorest of the poor, the brokenhearted, the broken in spirit."
"When all is done according to the ways of the Lord, no one goes hungry." Can't we see that Jesus is the answer to all our problems?! We try and figure things out by ourselves and we end up with a big, big mess, can't we see that we've screwed things up that way? Look at our world! The stupid Fall! But even post-Fall God shows us the way to live in peace and harmony...if only we would be faithful.
Jesus, thank You for Your grace. The grace to show us how to live and the grace to forgive us and keep and keep giving us chances when we fail. You are an infinitely gracious God.