Deut 26:1-15 - The path to blessing *
- Deuteronomy 26:1 (NASB)
- Deuteronomy 26:2 (NASB)
- Deuteronomy 26:3 (NASB)
- Deuteronomy 26:10 (NASB)
- Deuteronomy 26:11 (NASB)
- Deuteronomy 26:13 (NASB)
- Deuteronomy 26:15 (NASB)
Read these verses carefully - God is giving His people a very clear path to receiving His blessing in their lives and on their land. They were going to inherit land that was good for cultivation, and as they cultivated that land it would yield to them - the land would produce nourishment for themselves and for others. What comes out of the ground? Produce. What's Produce? Fruits, Veggies, Seeds, Nuts. What are these good for? To be eaten! We eat Produce so that we can sustain ourselves. Our bodies require food in order to stay alive, so we need Produce in order for that to happen. The reward for cultivation (working your land) is that it will yield produce for you and you can eat it, give it, sell it so that others may eat it. The ultimate outcome? Sustainability! You can keep living!
So, the command in these verses is very clear - because God is the One that brings about the produce and you are simply the one that creates the environment for it (through working the land, cultivating it) you are to give back to God the first fruits of the produce of the land. You are to offer it back to God as a tithe (offering to God) in which the Levites, orphans, alien, poor can sustain themselves with. They will eat it and thus be granted life. If we bring the best then they can enjoy the best. However, if we don't bring the best then they can't enjoy the best and in most cases they can't eat it at all. What's the result of that? They can't sustain themselves! They can't live off of rotten food, or food that expires tomorrow. They need the best, and God won't accept our second best.
The only way to give God your best is to understand the reason why you're doing so (vs 4-9). The Israelites were to say to the priest their reason for bringing in the tithe and recite in his presence that they were once aliens yet God delivered them into a land flowing with milk and honey. On this foundation of remembering what God had done for them humility would fill their heart and their natural response to God's abundance would be to give back to Him the best of what we have. And how does God respond when He receives our best? Vs 15 says God will "....bless (His) people and the ground which (He) has given them...." They AND their ground will be blessed! He blesses the ground by making it yield to man. He blesses man by allowing him to sustain himself off what the ground yields. He blesses both.
Remember the story of Cain? He didn't bring his best and God didn't take his offering. What was the result? He AND the ground were cursed. The ground would no longer yield, hence Cain could not nourish himself from that same ground that he worked. His work brought no reward. God took away Cain's ability to yield that which he cultivated. And this is a picture of unsustainability, and it's all predicated by the type of offering you bring to God!
So, here's the process:
- Work the ground (cultivate it)- Gather the harvest- Recognize your role in the mix (it's not your land, God is the one that makes it grow - you simply just work the land)- Give God the best (when you recognize your role this will be natural)- Eat/sell the rest- Result? God is pleased, you are fed, others are fed (Levite, alien, orphan, widow) - a picture of sustainability
Created 12 months ago