1/31/2021 – Deuteronomy 26-30
Moses tells of blessings for obedience and warnings about disobedience, the covenant is renewed at Moab, and God’s faithfulness is assured. Also, there is particularly important teaching about offerings. With Israel, our offerings testify to the fact that we had nothing (“wandering Aramean”), that we were lost (“afflicted and oppressed”), that God has delivered us (“the Lord brought us out of Egypt”) and given to us all we have (“fruit of the land”). Like Israel, when we give from our possessions to God, that is not merely a financial transaction “to keep the church running;” we are worshipping: “you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God” (26:10). Furthermore, having been so blessed by God, like the Israelites, we give to “the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow” (26:12) and that not merely out of obligation but because we love. Jesus instructs us, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36; you really should read Luke 6:27-36).
I don’t talk a lot about money and tithes and offerings, but the Bible speaks often of such things, and it speaks of the giving of them as acts of worship. Regarding the offering for the saints in Jerusalem, Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6,7). Oh, that we Baxterians would always be cheerful givers!