In the sermon on the mount, Jesus taught his disciples about the right way to give alms by saying:
" Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:1-4
Those words of Jesus, "let not thy left hand know what the right hand doeth" were an expression that his disciples
understood because they harmonized with the time in which they lived and the moral precepts of the law.
Through the instruction of the scriptures, we understand how our heavenly Father provides for the righteous poor.
Oh what wisdom! The gifts are given in secret so the child of God is never ashamed and the alms-giver does not
receive the praises of men.
"HANDFULS" REFERS TO HARVESTING GRAIN
The invention of mechanical harvest machines has changed the way grains are harvested. Here, we read about the
harvest grains brought forth by HANDFULS when Joseph was in Egypt: "And in the seven plenteous years the earth
brought forth by handfuls." Gen 41:47 (KJV)
THE FORGOTTEN SHEAF
The forgotten sheaf of harvest is an example of alms-giving that is done in secret. Truly the left hand did not know
what the right hand was doing when the sheaf was forgotten in the field!
"But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing.
When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it:
it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands." Deut 24:18-19
Dear Reader, I encourage you to read the short book of Ruth. It is a biography of Ruth, the Moabitess, who became
the wife of Boaz the great-grandfather of King David. Boaz obeyed the statute of the forgotten sheaf and even
told his workmen to purposely pull out sheaves from the bound bundles. The Father which seeth in secret himself
rewarded Boaz openly. The name of Boaz is listed in the two genealogies of Jesus the Messiah! (Matthew 1:5; Luke
HANDFULS Of PURPOSE
"And when she [Ruth] was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not." Ruth 2:15-16 KJV
Let us ask our heavenly Father for wisdom and understanding about the spirit of the law of the forgotten
sheaf as we serve the righteous needy of our time.
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