Rejoice in All the Good, Deuteronomy 24-27. It is good for us, as believers, to stop often and ponder our own history, reminding ourselves that we came before God with nothing.
1 “When you come into the land
that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken
possession of it and live in it, 2 you shall take some of the first of
all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the
Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you
shall go to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his
name to dwell there. 3 And you shall go to the priest who is in office
at that time and say to him, ‘I declare today to the Lord your God that I
have come into the land that the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.’
4 Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down
before the altar of the Lord your God.
5 “And you shall make response before the Lord your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. 6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. 7 Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders. 9 And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God. 11 And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.
Deuteronomy 26:1-11, English Standard Version
Have you noticed, as we go through the first five books of the Bible, how many times God admonishes the people to remember their roots? Pride is so quick to well up within us that it is good for us to remember who we really are, how we got to where we are today, and to rejoice in all the good things God has granted to us.
God is commanding the people to bring the first fruits of their harvests to the Lord when they go in to possess the land. When they do so, they are to recount their history from the time of Abraham to the present.
God commands, And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levites and the sojourner who is among you.
It is good for us, as believers, to stop often and ponder our own history, reminding ourselves that we came before God with nothing but our sin. Everything we have today, everything we have achieved, is by the grace of God. Most importantly He saved us through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, granting us a salvation we could never earn in and of ourselves. Then, by His continual grace, He leads us through the hills and valleys of this life, bringing us closer and closer to His eternal kingdom.
Where, then, is there any room for personal pride? Everything we are and ever hope to be comes to us through the grace of God; anything we achieve on our own is only wood, hay, and stubble.
Unfortunately, these are words that we seldom hear--indeed, they are not considered to be politically correct. We are encouraged to lift up ourselves and seek all we can in this life. But, what does this life really have to offer us? We may gain fame and fortune, but if we do not have Christ none of those things will matter in the life to come.
Remember your roots, and rejoice in all the good things God has given to you. And, especially thank and praise God for His saving and keeping you, bringing you by His power alone into His eternal kingdom to live with Him forever.
Amen! So shall it be!
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