When the people settled in the land and began to harvest God’s blessings, they were to bring a tithe to the Lord to the Tabernacle. As part of their presentation, God put the very words in their mouths – what they were to say regarding the history of their nation and how God had given them the land (Deuteronomy 26:5-10).
What a blessing to realize that God has freely given us all good things to enjoy.
Deuteronomy 26:11 (NKJV) “So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the LORD your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you.”
Some people feel guilty enjoying a good meal, good music, good weather, fun, laughter, even love. We shouldn’t. We should accept all good things from the heart of God (James 1:17).
1 Timothy 6:17 (NKJV) “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.”
On the third year, the children of Israel were to also bring an offering for the poor, not just an offering for the Levite, but also the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. God’s pattern of provision is perfect, as we give to God our tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8-10). If Israel gave – from the heart – they would indeed be blessed by Him in every way, in the land flowing with milk and honey (Deuteronomy 26:15).
In Deuteronomy 26:17 that the people proclaimed the LORD to be their God. And in Deuteronomy 26:18 the LORD proclaimed Israel to be His special people. This is how relationships flourish – it’s always a two way road.
Warren Wiersbe give us insight into the solemn ceremony commanded in Deuteronomy 27, “This ceremony was observed only once, after Israel entered the land and began to conquer it (Joshua 8:30–35). It was a solemn reminder to them that obedience to God was the secret of success (Joshua 1:8). The Law was written on large stones so that everyone could read it. Today, as we read and meditate on God’s Word, the Spirit writes it on our hearts and transforms us from within (2 Corinthians 3:1–3, 18). The ceremony was a renewal of the nation’s covenant with God, for new beginnings deserve new acts of dedication.”
Israel could never say that God didn’t warn them.
Deuteronomy 27:26 (NKJV) “‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’”
Martha had lost sight of her priority. We must make sure that we’re not so busily distracted, even in the service of God, that we neglect that time to just sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to His Word. Time in the Word and prayer is never time lost.
Out of all the things the disciples could have asked Jesus to teach them (how to heal, how to cast out demons, how to preach, etc.) it’s interesting that they only asked Him to teach them how to pray. I’m sure they knew that the key to Jesus’ life – was His prayer life. That’s the key for us too, so it’s okay to ask Him to teach us to pray.
Jesus gave us what I would refer to as the “Model Prayer.” Try praying each line (and then elaborating on it). Let’s be well aware of Who we’re talking to – our Father – in heaven. Let’s pray for His will; ask Him for bread for both body and soul. Let’s get serious about confession and ask for forgiveness – making sure we settle accounts by forgiving others also (please see Matthew 6:15). One of the most important parts of our prayer is to plead that we’re not led into temptation; we sometimes forget to pray this, and for God to deliver us from the evil one. I bet our days would be very different (our lives would be different) if we prayed the way Jesus taught us to.
Jesus then encourages us to pray persistently. Warren Wiersbe comments on Luke 10:5-8, “God is a loving Father, not a grouchy neighbor; He gives us what we need. He neither slumbers nor sleeps; and He doesn’t become irritated when we ask for help (James 1:5).”
Let’s keep asking for a fresh willing of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), keep seeking God Himself (Jeremiah 29:11-13), and keep knocking on those doors, for ministry opportunities (1 Corinthians 16:9; Revelation 3:8).
This Psalm is a declaration of the way God has defeated the enemies of Israel. God broke their bows and arrows, and shields, and swords. God rebuked their horses and chariots; and the enemies’ mighty men even lost use of their hands (Psalm 76:5). Israel had been attacked as prey – but they prayed, and God delivered them. He will do the same for us.
We can trust God, make vows to God, and keep them…for He keeps His Word, He will defeat anyone and anything that come against us (Romans 8:31).
It’s always good to get counsel, begin with the counsel of God’s Word, and then continue with the counsel of genuine Christians, who will give you God’s Word.
Fools are quick to anger, but the prudent are patient.
The truth is always best, as Mark Twain said, “If you don’t know what to say, just tell the truth.” This is especially important in the court of law, among witnesses.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.