Deuteronomy 26 Commentary: First fruits and Tithes
The regulations concerning the first fruits and tithes reveal an attitude of thankfulness expected of Israel. But there is actually more. An Israelite man is commanded to recite the history of Israel before the LORD. They needed to know at all times who they were and where they came from.
The declarations constitute prayer before the LORD. The main lines here tell us what should be important in prayer.
Firstly is the declaration that we have settled in the land of promise. We are confirming that the LORD has fulfilled His promises to us. The basket full of fruits is the evidence. Make your prayer personal and close to your heart. This seems to be the message. The saint today cannot be short of words before the LORD. We can reflect on our own lives by reciting key moments in our journey. There was a moment when I wandered about with an application letter. The monthly income is the evidence of the LORD’S blessing over my life. Indeed there isn’t a man who isn’t guilty of receiving free gifts from the LORD. There is so much evidence for an easy conviction. This should make thanksgiving easier.
Secondly, there is an admission that the LORD has provided an increase and caused fruitfulness. He began by providing the ground (land) and went on to provide fruitfulness. Every decent prayer involves a deep appreciation of the LORD’S involvement in our day-to-day activities.
Thirdly and probably the impossible part is the prayer of confession.
Then say to the Lord your God: “I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them.
Deuteronomy 26 verse 13.
In our culture confession is often encouraged but in the negative. But the scripture encourages us to confess in the positive, mainly. It takes huge courage to complete the confession in this chapter. Many of us would chock almost immediately through these lines. Indeed that is the purpose of prayer. A prayer session that doesn’t find you wanting and fails to leave you awe-struck is clearly lacking some important components.
The chapter closes with a call to obedience. It’s a condition in the contract – the covenant.
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