Deuteronomy 26:1-3 - (Moses said) "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, 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. 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.'"
There's an interesting little ceremony Moses commanded the Israelites to do once they got settled in the Promised Land. After the first harvest, they are to take samples of everything to the tabernacle, give them to the priest, and make an official declaration before God's altar: "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." In essence, they were declaring the promise God made to Israel was fulfilled. God had kept His promise; the Israelites followed and trusted in Him, and God brought them into the Promised Land.
After handing over the first fruits of the land to the priest, the Israelite was supposed to recite the whole story of what God had done, beginning with the days of Abraham. "A wandering Aramean was my father ..." the recitation would start. Then he would continue by telling about the move to Egypt, the growth of the nation of Israel there, and their enslavement by the Egyptians. Then the Israelite would recite how God rescued the people: "with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders." He would conclude by saying, essentially, "Now here we are in the land of promise, and here is the fruit of the land You have given me." Signed, sealed, delivered. (See Deuteronomy 26:5-11.)
It would probably be a great idea for us Christians to do something similar every so often. Take a while to think back over your life with God. Where did it start—at your Baptism as an infant? Or perhaps when you came to faith as a teen or adult? What troubles and difficulties have you faced during your life, and how has the Lord delivered you through them all? Where do you stand today by God's grace? And what good fruits can you bring to the Lord to thank Him and to serve as a witness that He has been faithful to you?
Whatever your story, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus form the central core of it. There on the cross—there the Lord delivered you "with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm." There in the empty tomb—there God the Father did "signs and wonders," raising Jesus from the dead, and you with Him.
What is your story? Why not think through it and give Him a sign of your thanks today?
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for Your faithful care for me, and help me to trust You forever, as Your deeds deserve. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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