Message One Preaching Outline Leviticus 19
Leviticus 19:9-10 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.
Moses reminded the people of the Lord’s command when the Law and Commandments were reviewed as recorded in the book of Deuteronomy, written shortly before Israel crossed the Jordan river to take the land that God promised them –
Deuteronomy 1:3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
The people that had heard the first giving of the Law and Commandments had died in the wilderness. Those that remained had been 20 years old and under at that time. The people needed to know that the Law was for them as well as for their parents. It is the declaration of God given to His nation – setting them apart from all of the nations of the world. They would be a testimony to the world to the power and glory of God and the people of the world should come to God through Israel! Multitudes of people did come to God, more did not.
Deuteronomy 24:19-22 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. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.
Back to the purpose of Moses’ message to the people. They were moving into a land that they would control. They would no longer be strangers in someone else’s land. God wanted them to know what He expected of them and so reminded them as we just read – “…thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.
We are going to see in the next few weeks some of the commands of God, His principles of life, dealing with man’s relationship to man. These principles will highlight the everlasting truth of God –
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
While reading Leviticus 19 verse 9, I noticed three words in particular –
‘reap, harvest, your land’ As I considered these words I thought of the –
I. Expected Blessings. Leviticus 19:9 “…when ye reap the harvest of your land…”
When the people received this first command of the Lord, they were refugees having just come out from the nation of Egypt. Their possessions were those things that they could carry. Their provision was daily from the Lord. Their protection was completely of the Lord. Their path was directed by the Lord, a cloud in the day and a fire in the night. The promise to the nation is anticipated by the declaration of the Lord –
“…when ye reap the harvest of your land…”
God was going to give them –
A. Possessions – “land”
B. Prosperity – “harvest”
C. Peace – “reap”
With these blessings, God declared that they come with responsibilities.
II. The Benevolence of the people.
The Lord instructed the people to care for others. Actually, He commanded them to provide for those in need. I use the word ‘benevolence’ which strictly means kindness, goodwill, compassion, the desire to do good to others. We may ask ourselves, “can benevolence be commanded”? Is it possible to make someone do good from their heart. The answer is no, you cannot force anyone to be truly kind from their heart. So why the command? Because we must be instructed in what is good. Remember that we are naturally sinful by nature and any good thing must be taught – a learned behavior. The love of God is noted in the possessions, prosperity, and peace He bestows upon His people. We are to learn from Him, love Him, and in return, do good to others, loving them.
We are currently living in a world where the children are left to themselves, not being instructed to do good. The standard of this day is that they should be able to do what they want, not being placed under the burden of guilt through moral instruction. Look around at the results – chaos everywhere.
God blessed us by teaching us that we should care for the good of others and give of ourselves to meet their needs. The command should grow into care and then love. How were they to show their love and care. By providing for the poor and for the travelers. Not by just giving them food, but by giving them opportunity – not welfare but workfare, allowing the individual to keep his dignity by earning his way in life.
God’s instructions were clear – They would supply –
A. The basic needs. Leviticus 19:9
1. Provision for the travelers. “…thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field…”
2. Provision for the community. “…neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.”
They would also supply –
B. The blessing of abundance. Leviticus 19:10
See also Deuteronomy “…. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.”
In God’s care, He supplies that which we need and in His love, He gives us above all that we can ask or think. The Lord commanded that grapes and olives be made available to those in need. We remember also as the Lord was on His way into Jerusalem, He stopped at a fig tree to take some of the fruit. We note that God’s care extended beyond the specifics of grapes and olives to the common fruit of the land.
I certainly can be thankful for a bowl of oats that will keep me alive, but I can really enjoy a bowl of oats mixed with some fruit! God is always good!
In the New Testament, the Apostle John advocated God’s love to be shown to others through providing for those in need –
1 John 3:17-19 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
And the pastor of the church in Jerusalem, James the Lord’s brother declared that faith in God must be seen in action –
James 2:14-18 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
God created a system by which His people could show the world that He can truly change our hearts. That we can learn to care as He cares, that we can learn to love as He loves, that we can learn to give as He gives – meet the necessities and even above that, give abundantly. Through this we come to understand a little more about His giving, and the ultimate Gift, His Son.
He still gives provision that we might live. The basics for life.
He gave His Son that we might have life – eternal. The blessing for eternal life – above measure He gave!
Have you turned to Him in faith?
We thank the Lord that we are with you all here in Ipoh – a giving people. We must remember, though, that we must teach what we have learned. It is not an automatic response – it is through the love of God