Firstfruits and Tithes

Deuteronomy 26 – Confessions of God as Redeemer-King

Deuteronomy 27 – Mount Ebal

Thoughts about serving others

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

One Reply to “Firstfruits and Tithes”

  1. “The levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow” (Deuteronomy 26:12, 13), the recipients of the tithe, one-tenth of the firstfruits of the land in the third year. Not forgotten, God wants them to remember those who would otherwise have nothing. Beyond the long list of rules and requirements we see a loving God that wants us to care for each other. These “commands” are for the good of all, even if we read them as demands on us and requirements we must fulfill. Like it or not, this is our calling. We are to remember the fatherless and the widow.

    It strikes me that all who are not in the family of Christ are truly fatherless and widows caught in the compelling lies of the world, in the grip of atheism or hedonism or some other form of worship that does not lead to life with God. But that makes sense from my perspective and doesn’t serve to argue well. My words fall short. Lord help me to show by actions what my words cannot say. Let me have words, to be sure, I hope not to be silent, but moreso let my actions speak for your love. In Deuteronomy we’re reminded of your deliverance from Egypt, of the people’s reluctance and their stiff-necked response, but not all of the people. Some were faithful. Some did provide their firstfruits and tithes as required and Israel became a great nation.

    In our own way, Lord, help us to construct altars that honor you, to “write very clearly all the words of this law on these stones you have set up” (27:8). Let us proclaim your goodness for all to see, unashamed, yet not with arrogance. Not something to worship, certainly not some sort of idol, but a constant reminder.

    The twelve “amens” in Deuteronomy 27 provide a great structure for liturgical worship, then all the people shall say “Amen!” Another Matt Maher song comes to mind. Again, withholding justice from “the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow” (27:19) enters the conversation along with leading the blind astray, cheating people, sexual immorality in many forms and those who would murder another.

    Help us Lord to follow your commands beyond the letter and to the intent. Help us Lord to say “Amen!” to your ways.

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