“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there…
God commanded Israel to continually recognize His generosity to them by giving of the first of the produce as an offering to the Lord. This accomplished a couple of things: first, it always placed Israel in a place to reflect and remind themselves of God’s mercy and grace. Each person was to rehearse God’s deliverance from Egypt (26:5-10). Israel was to rejoice and worship the Lord for His past deliverance and His present provisions. Secondly, this was a command by God to make sure they would never forgot who provided these riches for them. The warning in Deuteronomy 8 was stepping into all these provisions and then forgetting God and thinking they secured all these blessing on their own efforts. The key was continually seeking the Lord and valuing His presence and provision.
The concluding verses is Deuteronomy 26:18-19 are magnificent statements from the Lord Himself:
And the Lord has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.”(Deut. 26:18-10).
Enjoying the benefits and fruits of the Promised Land was conditional. If Israel obeyed God and kept his statutes then God would continue to allow them to enjoy God’s blessings. If they disobeyed God then they would face God’s loving discipline. But notice that God’s promises paint a magnificent design for impacting the world. Israel’s obedience would open the doors where God would exalt his people so they would be a “light in and for the whole world” as He promised.
We can never out-give God. He gives for our provision, but more importantly for His purpose. When we walk in obedience, God will give us opportunities that can be mind-boggling. His divine purpose is about impacting the whole world not just making us happy and safe. God has a design to use His people to impact the world; this may not be our first desire or even part of our own vision and it will require us to completely trust Him. But this will only happen when we walk with Him, trust Him completely and have no conditions about what we will do or not do as He leads us forward. So much hinges on what God is doing and not what we do for Him.
In His grace,