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Saturday, May 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 26

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-19

Deuteronomy, beginning with chapter 26.

Again it is important that we set the scene for you. Here's Moses, one hundred and twenty years old. In just a few days he's going to go up into the mountain and die. He is giving the last, of the last instructions to the people of God. He is releasing the reigns by which he has been guiding these people these forty years, and turning them over now unto Joshua. But Moses is sorta rehearsing for the children of Israel, again the conditions by which they will enjoy this land, the conditions upon which God's blessings were predicated. For the children of Israel had a covenant relationship with God that revolved around the law and around their obedience to the law.

And the covenant that God established with the nation of Israel was they that do them shall live by them. In other words, it was a covenant that was established in their doing and keeping the law of God. Now Moses even predicted, and we'll get into it tonight, their failure to keep the law. God knew that they wouldn't be able to keep it. And the failure has been predicted along with the resultant tragedies and curses that would come upon them for their failure.

Now God has established a new covenant with man that is no longer based upon the law and the keeping of the law. So when Jesus took the cup with His disciples and He gave them the cup, He said, "This is a new covenant that is in my blood, which is shed for the remission of sin." So the new covenant that God has established with man is through Jesus Christ and the work of Jesus Christ. So that in this new covenant it is in my believing in that work of Jesus Christ on my behalf by which I can now enjoy all the blessings of God. So I experience the blessings of God's grace upon my life. I experience all these wonderful things from God, not because I'm so good and have kept so perfectly the law of God, but because I have now a new covenant relationship with God; it is through Jesus Christ and His finished work. And I simply believe in that finished work of Christ and God imputes my faith for righteousness and blesses me.

Now if I were still living under the law I would be just as cursed as the children of Israel became, because the law could make nothing righteous. It only pointed to a better covenant that was to come. So in Deuteronomy we have the rehearsal of the covenant and the establishing of the covenant, whereby you come into the land. You obey these things. And over and over you'll notice he is pointing out obedience to the commands, obedience to the statutes, obedience, obedience, obedience. And if you obey, then this blessing will be yours, you'll be blessed, blessed, and blessed, but if you disobey then you'll be cursed. And I think there are more curses than there are blessings

Now I thank God that I can relate to God in the new Covenant in Jesus Christ, and thus, I have been blessed and am blessed by God. Not for any righteousness that I have done or not for any righteousness that I have, because that is not the basis by which I am relating to God tonight. I'm relating in that new Covenant. I'm simply believing in Jesus Christ to wash me and cleanse me of all my sins and to work in me His work of love as I submit my life to Him. That He might give to me the power and the capacity to live a life that is pleasing unto the Father.

So as we get into Chapter twenty-six, he first of all speaks to them that when you come into the land and you begin to gather the fruit of the land, the first fruits of the land. Now they were not really to gather anything for themselves until the third year. They were to plant but just let it go until the third year and then they were to begin to reap. But when you gather together your harvest then you are to bring before the Lord, actually,

the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shall bring in thy land of which the LORD has given thee, and thou shall put it in a basket, and shall go to the place of which the LORD thy God shall choose to place His name. And you are to go in there, and you are to profess that day unto the LORD thy God, that I am come into the country which the LORD swear to my fathers ( Deuteronomy 26:2-3 ).

And so you are now to bring the firstfruits of the land. You are to give them to God and you are to confess that you are now in the land that God has promised; the acknowledgment of the faithfulness of God to keep His promise because God had promised to Abraham that He would give him this land. So now you're in the land, bring the firstfruits to God and so profess, make the confession God did keep His promise.

Then interestingly in verse five,

And thou shall speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, he went down to Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became a nation, great, mighty, and populous ( Deuteronomy 26:5 ):

And so, speaking of Jacob, calling him a Syrian, who went down to Egypt with just a few. Yet while in Egypt in that four hundred-year period of time, God made them a great nation. And God brought them out, spoiling the Egyptians. And you are to rehearse actually God's great work in bringing you out and bringing you into the land that flows with milk and honey, out of the bondage of Egypt into the blessings of God. And now I bring the firstfruits unto God of this glorious land that He has given to us.

And in verse eleven,

Thou shall rejoice in every good thing in which the LORD thy God has given unto thee, and unto thy house, thou, and the Levites, and the stranger living among you ( Deuteronomy 26:11 ).

Again here is a commandment where God is commanding them to rejoice. God wants a happy people. And God's people should be a happy people. We should be the happiest people on the face of the earth. And what kind of a witness is it to God if His people are always depressed and down and sour and dour. God wants you to be a rejoicing people.

And in verse twelve,

When thou has made an end of the tithing of all the tithes of your increase in the third year, which is the year of tithing, you've given it to the Levites, [and so forth]; Thou shall say to the LORD, before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hollowed things out of my house, and give them to the Levites, the stranger, fatherless, the widow, I have not transgressed the commandments, neither have I forgotten them: I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought for the dead ( Deuteronomy 26:12-14 ):

And thus, he goes on with this again, acknowledgment that God has brought them into the land that flows with milk and honey.

And you must avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice ( Deuteronomy 26:17 ):

All right again, at this point you are to swear that God is your God, actually, that Jehovah is your God, to walk in His ways and to keep the commandments and all. And for the Lord has avouched thee this day to be His peculiar people, who are obeying, actually, His commandments.

And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor ( Deuteronomy 26:19 );


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 26". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/deuteronomy-26.html. 2014.
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