Here we have the final movement in the second of these great farewell discourses of Moses. In it the lawgiver lifted his eyes and looked at the land to be possessed, and proceeded to tell the people how they were to worship in the new land.
The first recognition and act of worship necessarily is that of approach to God. Therefore they were instructed to go to the place of worship with the first fruits of the land. Then a formal confession of a threefold nature was to be made; first, the fact of possession was to be stated; second, the helpless origin of the nation was to be remembered: "A Syrian ready to perish was my father"; and, finally, the people's possession of the land was to be acknowledged as the work of Jehovah alone.
With such confession, offerings were to be presented to the Lord and the people to rejoice together.
Then followed a recognition of the other side of worship, which is the true and outward expression of the first. Gifts were to be bestowed on men, the Levites, the strangers, the fatherless, and the widow.
This having been done, prayer again was to be offered to God in which the gifts bestowed on men are spoken of as dedicated to Him.
All this is most suggestive, as it teaches us that our worship can be perfected only in service to our fellow men. The discourse ended with words that reminded the people of their relationship to God. Of the nation it was affirmed, "Thou hast avouched Jehovah this day to be thy God." Of Jehovah it was affirmed, "Jehovah hath avouched thee this day to be a people for His own possession."
the Third Week after Epiphany