REMEMBERING THE GOODNESS

Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 26 verse 1 – 16

When you have come into the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance and possess it and live in it, 2 You shall take some of the first of all the produce of the soil which you harvest from the land the Lord your God gives you and put it in a basket, and go to the place [the sanctuary] which the Lord your God has chosen as the abiding place for His Name [and His Presence]. 3 And you shall go to the priest who is in office in those days, and say to him, I give thanks this day to the Lord your God that I have come to the land which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us. 4 And the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. 5 And you shall say before the Lord your God, A wandering and lost Aramean ready to perish was my father [Jacob], and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and he became there a nation, great, mighty, and numerous. 6 And the Egyptians treated us very badly and afflicted us and laid upon us hard bondage. 7 And when we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our [cruel] oppression; 8 And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, and with great (awesome) power and with signs and with wonders; 9 And He brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 And now, behold, I bring the firstfruits of the ground which You, O Lord, have given me. And you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God; 11 And you and the Levite and the stranger and the sojourner among you shall rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given you and your household. 12 When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce the third year, which is the year of tithing, and have given it to the Levite, the stranger and the sojourner, the fatherless, and to the widow, that they may eat within your towns and be filled, 13 Then you shall say before the Lord your God, I have brought the hallowed things (the tithe) out of my house and moreover have given them to the Levite, to the stranger and the sojourner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed any of Your commandments, neither have I forgotten them. 14 I have not eaten of the tithe in my mourning [making the tithe unclean], nor have I handled any of it when I was unclean, nor given any of it to the dead. I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord my God; I have done according to all that You have commanded me. 15 Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the land which You have given us as You swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey. 16 This day the Lord your God has commanded you to do these statutes and ordinances. Therefore you shall keep and do them with all your [mind and] heart and with all your being.  Deuteronomy 26:1-16 AMP

1.  The children of Israel were given strict instructions on what they were to do with the first fruits and tithes.

  • They were to go to the place the Lord had chosen to place His Name and Presence
  • They were to confess and to acknowledge where they had come from, how God delivered them, and how He had brought them through into victory and blessing
  • They were to talk about the land the Lord had given them and to be thankful, to worship the Lord, and to rejoice
  • They were also to declare that their tithe was not eaten or handled in mourning, but with joy
  • They were to remind the Lord (and themselves) of the covenant that He swore to their fathers

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
The thing that jumps out at me in this passage is how much our attitude counts before God when we bring Him offerings, first fruits, and tithes. God would not accept any offerings that had any death or mourning attached to them. As Cain learned, it’s not what you bring, but what God accepts, that counts! God made the Israelites bring the offering in a specific way. He made them do and say specific things. Not because He loves empty rituals, but because He was training them to live a lifestyle that was focused on the goodness of God. If we forget what God has done, if we don’t expect Him to do anything for us in the future, then we have no reason to serve Him today, never mind bring Him an offering. Everything they were to do and say was to give them many reasons to keep serving and worshipping the Lord God and not to go off track to worship and serve any other foreign gods. Everything they were to do and say was a reminder to them, so they would remember what God had done, so that they would be grateful for what God had done and so that they would to continue to believe that He would fulfill His future promises! All this was for their blessing and benefit as it is for ours today.

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
The Lord laid out a clear plan for His people in this passage. The tithe and the first fruits were a reminder to them of His deliverance – to them and all their generations. It was a way for them never to forget where they had come from. As you bring the Lord your tithes, your offerings and your first fruits, remember where He has brought you from and where you could have been and then rejoice!

Prayer and Confession:
Father, thank You that You have delivered me from sin, hell, sickness, disease, poverty, lack, judgment, torment, and eternal death. Today I honor You with my substance and I rejoice in Your goodness!