by Tim Weinhold
Over three thousand years ago God himself preemptively weighed in on one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century — how can we solve poverty? One of his answers is found in Leviticus 19: 9-10: Gleanings.
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.
God mandated that the landed farmers of ancient Israel not reap their fields to the very borders. They were to leave the edges unharvested so that the poor could come and gather for themselves these set-aside “gleanings”.
From our modern vantage point, gleanings might seem a very quaint idea from a very distant and different past. Gleanings seems to be about making a curious connection between farming and the poor which has little application in today’s modern world.
Hidden beneath its ancient agrarian trappings, however, the gleanings model has much to teach us. There is more wisdom here than meets the eye, wisdom now in urgent need of rediscovery. Two thirds of the world’s people live in poverty. For one third, subsistence itself is under constant threat. All this despite an absolutely unprecedented scale and variety of anti-poverty efforts over the last half century. Read more