"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Friday, June 23, 2023


Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez, and James Fire

DEUTERONOMY 26: EVERY GOOD THING – by Sonny Islas; check out the complete teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: Today we will study DEUTERONOMY 26. This chapter marks the ending of the laws re-given by God to the people of Israel. The last two laws repeated are - the offerings of first fruits and The Third Year of Tithing (10%).

The main point of this chapter is – because Yahweh God, who is the Creator of all, owner of all, sustainer of all, the sole provider of the entire Earth and the giver of all good things (i.e. At this time - God gave them the land of Canaan/aka Israel as a gift) – we ought to respond by giving back to God with a grateful attitude AND pitch in when meeting the needs of the less fortunate.

1 "And it shall be, when you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, 2 "that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land that the LORD your God is giving you and put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide. 3 "And you shall go to the one who is priest in those days, and say to him, 'I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the country which the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.' 4 "Then the priest shall take the basket out of your hand and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God

Vs. 1 GOD IS GIVING YOU AS AN INHERITANCE: The Land of Canaan was a gift from God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children; made up of the twelve tribes of Israel. They would inherit/receive this precious property after their forefathers have passed into glory. In one sense, this great multitude of people (over a million at this point) got to enjoy this promised land because God loved their forefathers – again, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yahweh loved them and they loved Him – Israel now gets to reap the benefits of their forefathers relationship with God Almighty.

POSSESS IT AND DWELL IN IT: When Israel has conquered the Canaanites and have finally settled in, they were to break/till the ground and work the fields. And of the firstfruits of the very first harvest they gathered; they were to give that back to God as a way of saying – thank You! It was to recognize that Yahweh was the Giver of all good things.

Vs. 2 YOU SHALL TAKE THE FIRST OF ALL THE PRODUCE: The produce that ancient Canaan/Israel gave was mainly made up of wheat, barley, legumes (that is - all kinds of different peas), figs, grapes, and olives. This was a very tasty offering!

PUT IT IN A BASKET: Today we put our first fruits/financial offerings in an envelope or in the offering box, or in an online church account.

GO TO THE PLACE WHERE THE LORD YOUR GOD CHOOSES TO MAKE HIS NAME ABIDE: They were to take their agricultural offerings to wherever God chose to reside – in their case it was eventually Jerusalem, where the first Temple would eventually be built by King Solomon. Before then they brought their offerings to other God designated places.

Today, God has chosen to place His Name on Local Christian church houses and here is where we bring our offerings.


When they gave their basket of goodies to God, they were to also express God’s faithfulness in keeping His promise by giving them the land He swore He would. They were to say – “God is good, and God keeps His Word.”

In the same way, when we give our offerings, let’s keep God’s goodness and faithful provisions towards us in mind. They said “thank You for the land” when they gave their offering. We can say “thank you LORD for my job, for my health, for my skills, for my car, for my house, for my family, for my friends, for my church, for my broken country, for my drum set, my guitar, my garden, my computer etc.” The blessings are endless really.

Vs. 4 THEN THE PRIEST SHALL TAKE THE BASKET FROM YOUR HANDS AND SET IT BEFORE THE ALTAR OF THE LORD: The offering was given to the priest to then give it to God. In ACTS 4:35 and ACTS 5:2 we read that the Sunday (or first day of the week) offering collections were brought to the local church gathering and “laid at the Apostle’s feet,” just like we see here with them handing their offerings to the priest.

Israel gave to God every time there was a harvest. And at times whenever they’d like. In the New Testament, the pattern of giving to God is found in 1 COR 16:2 where it says, “On the first day of the week (Sunday) let each one of you (the LORD expects everyone to give) lay something aside (this can be 10% of your income which is the most common amount given by very few. This can be 12% of your income, 20%, 7%, 5%, of your income – there really is no fixed giving, the choice is yours – but it should be done regularly and joyfully), storing up as he may prosper (in other words, give according to what you make – i.e. the rich can give more, the poor can give less – but it’s all giving from the heart), that there be no collections when I come.”

This is where the New Testament Church gets the idea of bringing their financial offerings to a local church, and to do that weekly.

5 "And you shall answer and say before the LORD your God: 'My father was a Syrian, about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. 6 'But the Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and laid hard bondage on us. 7 'Then we cried out to the LORD God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our oppression. 8 'So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. 9 'He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, "a land flowing with milk and honey"; 10 'and now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O LORD, have given me.' Then you shall set it before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God. 11 "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

Vs. 5 YOU SHALL ANSWER AND SAY BEFORE THE LORD YOUR GOD: After giving their basket of goodies and declaring God’s faithfulness in bringing them into the land of promise, they were also to briefly retell or recount the story of their long journey and God’s awesome plan for this people – both, the hard times and the good times.

This was so that Israel would always remember all that God did to get them to where they are. And it’s good for us to never forget where we come from, where the LORD rescued us from. This memory produces humility and gratitude, and it may even show up in the giving of our financial offerings to the LORD.

Vs. 5 MY FATHER WAS A SYRIAN ABOUT TO PERISH…: This refers to Jacob because he passed through Syria (GEN 24:10) to live with his crooked uncle Laban. And “about to perish” could refer to Jacob’s life being in danger due to stealing his brother Esau’s blessing.

When they gave their offering, they were to recall their slavery in Egypt for 400+ years - God moved Israel from Canaan to Egypt to preserve the Hebrew line because if they had stayed in Canaan they would have intermarried when they were few in number. Egyptians on the other hand were racist and would not intermarry with the Israelites. This is why God planted them there – so they can multiply without any intermarriage issues. They went from 70 people (EXOD 1:5) to over 1 million in number. Behold the sovereign power and matchless wisdom of God – in preserving and multiplying His people!

They were to recall how they were treated in Egypt – as mere slaves and how their cries/prayers moved the heart and hand of God causing Him to come to their rescue. They were to recall the way in which God showed up with heaven’s power by the ten plagues He slammed Egypt with. And let’s not forget the splitting of the Red Sea!

When it says land flowing with milk and honey, it’s referring to the abundant milk of goats and the abundance of the sweet paste they got from dates. It also means a prosperous land.

In JOHN 10:10 Jesus says,
“The thief [Satan] comes to kill, steal and destroy, BUT I have come to give abundant life.” Spiritually speaking, Jesus came to give us the “flowing with milk and honey” life.

Vs. 10-11 “and now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land which you, O Lord, have given me.’ “Then you shall set it before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God.”

Here we see that we only give back to God a little of the much He has given us. Yahweh gave them a huge prosperous piece of land and they brought only a basket full of what that massive land was able to produce.

We also see that giving to God is an act of worship.

Vs. 11 So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the LORD your God has given you…: God blessed Israel with this abundant land so that they would be happy in the sight of God. God blesses us because He likes to see us happy.
1 TIMOTHY 6:17-19
“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.” Not to worship, but to enjoy
12 "When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, 13 "then you shall say before the LORD your God: 'I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them. 14 'I have not eaten any of it when in mourning, nor have I removed any of it for an unclean use, nor given any of it for the dead. I have obeyed the voice of the LORD my God and have done according to all that You have commanded me

[The following are additional notes by yours truly, James Fire]

This third year tithe was particularly partial to the Levites, to foreigners in the land, the orphans and widows – a part of the ‘social program’ of their day. The emphasis of what this tithe was not used for is here expressed: not in mourning (as in funeral foods) offered to either the pagan god the deceased paid homage to, nor to the deceased themselves (in other words, tithes were never used after the manner of pagan practices).

15 'Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the land which You have given us, just as You swore to our fathers, "a land flowing with milk and honey.

Our obedience to the LORD Jesus should reflect at least in some measure, and endeavoring wholeheartedness, our own obedience to GOD.
Yet even in obedience under the Law, there is evidence of the grace of GOD: He didn’t have to make a covenant with Israel, nor did He have to impart to them His “holy oracles” (ROM 3:2), or save the nation every time they went astray and needed rescuing from their enemies.

While the blessings of GOD under the Old Testament were based solely on obedience to the varied and multitudinous laws and sacrifices performed by the faithful Jew, the entirety of GOD’s dealings with Israel was according to His grace.

His grace was magnified exponentially and profoundly under the New Testament, based upon the obedience of Christ to the Father, fulfilling the Law on our behalf perfectly, and requires only faith in Christ. In Christ we have all spiritual blessings given upfront. Any reading of the Word, time spent in prayer, doing the work of the LORD will only add blessings upon blessings granted. Blessings are undeserved, but given by grace; rewards are deserved, given on the basis of the saint’s merit. Still, both are accomplished by the Spirit of grace who enables all the operations of GOD in our lives!

16 "This day the LORD your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 "Today you have proclaimed the LORD to be your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and that you will obey His voice. 18 "Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments, 19 "and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken

These verses can be applied to both Old Testament saint and New Testament saint: All saints ought to observe the statutes and judgments of GOD. All saints proclaim that the LORD is our GOD and that we will walk in His ways.

Both Israel and the church are considered GOD’s special people: Israel – the special people (EXOD 26:19) who will be blessed with the restored kingdom of Israel; the church – the special people (1 PET 2:9) who will be blessed with the rapture and resurrection from this world and into GOD’s heavenly kingdom!

Israel proved their love for the LORD by obeying His commandments (DEUT 6:5; 7:9); likewise we the church prove our love for the LORD Jesus by obeying His commandments (JOHN 14:15,21; 15:10).

Israel has the promise to be exalted above the nations as the ruling power under their Messiah King; the church has the promise of being exalted to heaven, seated with Christ in heavenly places. Both people are to be a holy people, consecrated and sanctified to the LORD, set apart for special relationship and purpose!

For more on this, check out David Guzik’s study on DEUTERONOMY 26!

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