A Reminder to Keep God’s Laws
1 Soon you will enter and take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you as your property. When you have settled there, 2 take some of the first produce harvested from the fields in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and put it in a basket. Then go to the place where the Lord your God will choose for his name to live. 3 Go to the priest who is serving at that time, and tell him, “I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the land that the Lord is giving us, as he swore to our ancestors.” 4 Then the priest will take the basket from you and set it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God. 5 You will make this formal statement in the presence of the Lord your God: “My ancestors were wandering Arameans. There were only a few of them when they went to Egypt and lived as foreigners. But then they became a great, powerful, and large nation. 6 So the Egyptians treated us cruelly, oppressed us, and made us do back-breaking work for them. 7 We cried out to the Lord God of our ancestors, and he heard us. He saw our misery, suffering, and oppression. 8 Then the Lord used his mighty hand and powerful arm to bring us out of Egypt. He used spectacular and awe-inspiring deeds, miraculous signs, and amazing things. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey. 10 So now I’ve brought the first produce harvested from the fields you gave me, Lord.”
You will place the basket in the presence of the Lord your God and bow down in front of him. 11 Then you, the Levites, and the foreigners who live among you can enjoy all the good things which the Lord your God has given you and your family.
12 Every third year is the year when you will store a tenth of that year’s crops ⌊in your houses⌋. During that year distribute what you have stored to the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows in your cities, and they may eat all they want. 13 When you have distributed all that was stored, say to the Lord your God, “Nothing is left of the holy offering stored in my house. I distributed it to the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows as you commanded me. I disobeyed none of your commands, and I didn’t forget to do what you commanded. 14 I didn’t eat any of this holy offering while I was in mourning. I didn’t distribute any of it while I was unclean.#“Unclean” refers to anything that is not presentable to God. I didn’t offer any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the Lord my God. I have done everything you commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy place in heaven. Bless your people Israel and the land flowing with milk and honey that you have given us, as you promised with an oath to our ancestors.”
16 Today the Lord your God is commanding you to obey these laws and rules. You must faithfully obey them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 Today you have declared that the Lord is your God and that you will follow his directions, obey his laws, commands, and rules, and listen to him. 18 Today the Lord has declared that you are his people, his own special possession, as he told you. But you must be sure to obey his commands. 19 Then he will place you high above all the other nations he has made. He will give you praise, fame, and honor, and you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.