Acceptable Offerings and Worship: Deuteronomy 25:11-26:19

Deuteronomy 25:11‑26:19  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Deuteronomy 25:11-26:1911When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: 12Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her. 13Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. 14Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. 15But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 16For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God. 17Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; 18How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it. 1And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein; 2That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name there. 3And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the Lord thy God, that I am come unto the country which the Lord sware unto our fathers for to give us. 4And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the Lord thy God. 5And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: 6And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage: 7And when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labor, and our oppression: 8And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders: 9And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey. 10And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God: 11And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you. 12When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; 13Then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them: 14I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me. 15Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey. 16This day the Lord thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. 17Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: 18And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; 19And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken. (Deuteronomy 25:11‑26:19)
Any careless familiarity of a woman with a man is displeasing to the Lord, and was to be dealt with in Israel. Let us remember that the Lord has set “our secret sins in the light of His countenance” (Psalm 90:88Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. (Psalm 90:8)). He knows all we do.
The people were instructed to give full weight and full measure in all their dealings. It is a very sad thing when those who bear the name of Christ are dishonest in their dealings. Sometimes we even hear people boast of how they “got by” in some questionable deal. But they only thought they did! God sees all we do. Let us remember that these things are “an abomination unto the Lord.”
The children of Israel were not to forget that Amalek was the continual enemy of Israel, nor were they to make peace with him. We too are to remember that “the flesh profiteth nothing” (John 6:6363It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)). It never changes, always lusting against the Spirit, so that there will always be conflict as long as we are in this scene. When we reach the glory, however, the old nature (of which Amalek is a type) will be gone forever.
The Firstfruits
After this they were instructed what to say when they brought their basket of firstfruits to the Lord. They were never to forget what they were by nature themselves. It is instructive at this point to notice that although God did not accept Cain’s offering of the fruit of the ground, He did accept these things from the children of Israel. The reason for this is that they were a redeemed people. They had not, like Cain, refused to take shelter under the blood, when they were redeemed out of Egypt, and over and over again they showed in their sacrifices that approach to God was through the shed blood alone. And so with us, God accepts the “good works” we do for Him in obedience to His Word, but all our work, before we were saved were but “dead works” and “filthy rags.”
When the Israelite brought his basket of firstfruits he was to recall what the Lord had done for him. He was to say, “A Syrian ready to perish was my father,” and then to tell what the Lord had done for his nation — for it was the Lord’s goodness and grace that had blessed them so abundantly. May we, never forget what the Lord has done for us, but tell Him often, from thankful hearts, how we appreciate His wondrous grace to us.
Worship Acceptable to God
After this they were to tell how they had kept His commandments and done them, how they had not taken for themselves what belonged to the Lord and also how they had cared for the needy among them. While undoubtedly there was failure in carrying this out, it shows us that there is a suited state in which we should approach God as worshippers. He must have first place in our hearts and lives, and to try to look after all our own interests first and then the Lord, is most dishonoring to Him. Then, too, if we have wronged a brother, or neglected the need of some brother, there will be no liberty in worship, nor will our worship be acceptable to the Lord (Matthew 5:23-2423Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (Matthew 5:23‑24)). As we think of the many strained feelings and unkind things that have never been righted among the people of God, we know that many dear saints are losing the joy that might be theirs in the Lord’s presence. And the Lord is losing His portion too! May the Lord give us grace to settle these things to His glory before another Lord’s day.
Further Meditations
1. What was an Israelite supposed to do when he brought his basket of firstfruits to the Lord?
2. It is wonderful to have a clear conscience and be able to worship without hindrance. How did Nathan help David get to the point where he could worship again?
3. You might find the pamphlet Christian Worship by W. Kelly a help in distinguishing the Biblical definition of worship from the way the word often gets used.