Deuteronomy 26:1-10 (JDV)
Deuteronomy 26:1 “When you enter the land Yahveh your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you take possession of it and stay in it,
Deuteronomy 26:2 take some of the first of all the land’s produce that you harvest from the land Yahveh your God is giving you and place it in a basket. Then go to the place where Yahveh your God chooses to have his name dwell.
Deuteronomy 26:3 When you come before the priest who is serving at that time, say to him, ‘Today I declare to Yahveh your God that I have entered the land Yahveh swore to our fathers to give us.’
Deuteronomy 26:4 “Then the priest will take the basket from you and place it before the altar of Yahveh your God.
Deuteronomy 26:5 You are to answer by saying in the presence of Yahveh your God: My father was a lost Aramean. He went down to Egypt with a few people and was there as a guest. There he became a great, powerful, and populous nation.
Deuteronomy 26:6 But the Egyptians mistreated and humiliated us, and forced us to do hard labor.
Deuteronomy 26:7 So we called out to Yahveh, the God of our fathers, and Yahveh heard our cry and saw our misery, hardship, and oppression.
Deuteronomy 26:8 Then Yahveh brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, with terrifying power, and with signs and wonders.
Deuteronomy 26:9 He led us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Deuteronomy 26:10 Notice I have now brought the first of the land’s produce that you, Lord, have given me. You will then place the container before Yahveh your God and bow down to him.
The first harvest offering was a way of showing gratitude for God’s presence and power, and for thanking him for keeping his promise to past generations. Likewise, our worship today should be long-sighted, not short-sighted. We come together not just to thank God for providing our daily bread, or taking care of our immediate family. Worship is about that and so much more. It is a recognition of the link that we have with the faithful of all past generations,and that link is a relationship with the same God.
Lord, when we come together to worship you, remind us of all your blessings — including the ones we were not around to see.