Tithing their first fruits. Prayer to accompany their tithing. Act upon the Law.
VERSE 1. It shall be, when you have come in to the land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, possess it, and dwell in it,
come in to the land. The Promised Land.
VERSE 2. that you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you shall bring in from your land that the LORD your God gives you. You shall put it in a basket, and shall go to the place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there.
some of the first of all the fruit of the ground. They were to collect some of the first fruits of the various products of the soil, and place them in a basket, take them to the place where the LORD would dwell, and offer them.
In our day, the notion of first fruits continues. But it is metaphorical.
For Christians, it means when we receive money, our first “expense” is a tithe.
VERSE 3. You shall come to the priest who shall be in those days, and tell him, “I profess today to the LORD your God, that I have come to the land which the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.”
VERSE 4. The priest shall take the basket out of your hand, and set it down before the LORD your God’s altar.
VERSE 5. You shall answer and say before the LORD your God, “My father was a Syrian ready to perish. He went down into Egypt, and lived there, few in number. There he became a great, mighty, and populous nation.
My father was a Syrian. It is sometimes translated: “My father was a wandering Armenian.”
In Egypt, they were enslaved.
VERSE 7. Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers. The LORD heard our voice, and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.
our fathers. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
VERSE 8. The LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, with great terror, with signs, and with wonders;
with signs, and with wonders. Ideally the people will always remember those great miracles.
However, over the course of time, many people lose their sense of wonder. They explain away things they’ve not seen with their own eyes. Facts of history become mere stories.
They move on.
VERSE 9. and he has brought us into this place, and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
VERSE 10. Now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, the LORD, have given me.” You shall set it down before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God.
VERSE 11. You shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given to you, and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the foreigner who is among you.
You shall rejoice. That is, you shall make merry.
They were to “make merry” over all the good things the LORD God had given them.
What good things has the LORD God already given you? How can you celebrate those good things?
How can you “make merry?”
VERSE 12. When you have finished tithing all the tithe of your increase in the third year, which is the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the foreigner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, that they may eat within your gates and be filled.
the tithe of your increase. When income is stable, people are to tithe ten percent. But this verse introduces another title. It is your tithe when your income goes up.
VERSE 13. You shall say before the LORD your God, “I have put away the holy things out of my house, and also have given them to the Levite, to the foreigner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all your commandment which you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, neither have I forgotten them.
VERSE 14. I have not eaten of it in my mourning, neither have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor given of it for the dead. I have listened to the LORD my God’s voice. I have done according to all that you have commanded me.
I have listened to the LORD my God’s voice. This is the ideal. Ideally all believers will listen to the voice of the LORD God.
1 Samuel 3:10. The LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak; for your servant hears.”
However, many believers do not listen to the voice of the LORD God. Or they tried but heard nothing and gave up.
VERSE 15. Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel, and the ground which you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Look down. The text imagines the LORD God is in a specific location. It is a high place. It is above where the people are. From there he looks down.
heaven. The Hebrew word is הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם (“haš·šā·ma·yim”). It means heaven, sky.
VERSE 16. Today the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore keep and do them with all your heart and with all your soul.
do these statutes and ordinances. The commands of the LORD God must be acted upon. They must be put into practice.
We Christians say salvation is by faith. Yet the New Testament calls us to put our faith into action. Otherwise our faith is worthless. Read more »
VERSE 17. You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you would walk in his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, and his ordinances, and listen to his voice.
VERSE 18. The LORD has declared today that you are a people for his own possession, as he has promised you, and that you should keep all his commandments.
VERSE 19. He will make you high above all nations that he has made, in praise, in name, and in honor; and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, as he has spoken.
He will make you high above all nations. This is a remarkable promise!
This lowly itinerant people who were slaves: they will tower above all nations on earth!
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.