“Leave the Corners”

In consideration of world conditions, American life is exceptional. By comparison, there are no food shortages; no imminent crises of disease; no energy failures, blackouts or currency devaluation. Other countries are not so fortunate: Venezuela, Pakistan, the nations of Central America, Congo and a host of other African nations; the Middle East, the northern regions of the Slovaks and more. It is astounding how good we really have it. We are blessed in ways we cannot measure.

Our problem is that we are constant consumers. Americanism, with all of its profundity, consumes the whole. Christianity has bought into that thought even though the scripture presents a different approach. The Bible makes a demand on us to live spiritually and separately from the world. To that end, I submit that we must “Leave the Corners” untouched, i.e., leave something unconsumed.

Leviticus 23:22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God. It was God’s command not to consume everything.

Incredibly enough, centuries later Boaz obeyed this word. He did not harvest all the grain that his fields produced. He did not take all that belonged to him. His obedience to the Law became evident when he left sheaves of grain for the woman he was soon to marry, Ruth. In time, Boaz and Ruth would produce a lineage from which the greatest king in Israel would come. Ruth and Boaz were the great grandparents of King David; the warrior, psalmist, victory, giant-slayer, poet, and man after God’s own heart. Boaz made a way for Ruth by leaving the corners. Ruth’s life was so profound that her story was written in the holy write. Ultimately she was mentioned by Matthew in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

Boaz didn’t consume everything. He left the corners. He didn’t reap every part of the field, but rather he left enough to secure the future of a nation. His future bride was sustained by the things he gave away. I pray that we save the “corners” of our time, money, energy, and passion. We must work to conserve the margins where prayer has room to work, worship has space to be experienced, and offerings can be given to support missions around the world. I’m echoing the voice of Boaz, “leave the corners.”

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

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