Text – 26:1 When you have come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, 2 you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. 3 You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, “Today I declare to the LORD your God that I have come into the land that the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us.”4 When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the LORD your God, 5 you shall make this response before the LORD your God: “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. 6 When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us,7 we cried to the LORD, the God of our ancestors; the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 The LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; 9 and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O LORD, have given me.” You shall set it down before the LORD your God and bow down before the LORD your God.11 Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house.
Summary – The book of Deuteronomy records for us Moses’ last speech or sermon that he gives to the people of Israel. In it, he tells the people of Israel what the LORD commands them to do when they enter into the Promised Land. In this passage, he commands them that after they have settled the land, and have farmed the land and produced a harvest, they are to dedicate the harvest to the LORD. They are to take the first produce of their harvest, take it to the priest and give it to the priest. They are then to make a statement of all of the great acts that the LORD has done for his people, Israel. The wandering Aramean is referring to Abraham, and God Abraham into a great nation, has brought his people out of slavery, and has given them the land of Canaan. Now they would bring the first fruits of that harvest, remember how God has acted faithfully in the past, and would trust God for a bountiful harvest.
Insight – We often times have a hard time trusting in God’s faithfulness because we do not remind ourselves of all that he has done in both salvation history and our personal history. But our God is a God who not only brought our forefathers out of Egypt and into the Promised land, as he promised, but more importantly our God became man and died, was resurrected, and ascended into heaven. He gives us, who believe in his Son, the right to be called children of God. As God’s children we have a trustworthy and faithful heavenly father, who will never neglect what we need. So turn to him in faith, remembering what he has done for you in the past, and know that his faithfulness will never waiver in the future.
Catechism – What was Israel commanded to do with the first fruits of the harvest? Bring it to the priest, describing all the great works God has done for Israel.
Prayer – Almighty God, You are the LORD, who called Abraham, who sent your prophet Moses to bring Israel out of captivity. And you have sent your only Son to be the greater Moses, to bring your people about of captivity to our sins. Increase our faith O God, help us to always be mindful of your great works, and help us to rest in you for our futures. We ask this through your faithful Son, Jesus Christ
Contributed by Jared McNabb