Offering the Firstfruits and Giving the Tithe (Daily Portion 10123)

Content Author: 
Reagan, David
Scripture Passage: 
Deuteronomy 26:1-19

The Israelites are instructed to offer the firstfruits of the land of Israel to the Lord and to give the tithe of the third year for the needy. This chapter closes by affirming the special relationship Israel has with God as His peculiar and holy people.

What Does It Say?

  1. They are to bring their firstfruits to the priest who will take the _________ out of their hand and set it down before the __________ of the Lord.
  2. When the Israelites cried to the Lord, He heard their voice and looked on their _________, and their _____________, and their _____________.
  3. The Israelite is instructed to rejoice in every ________ __________ which the Lord their God has __________ unto them.
  4. When the Israelite has given the tithe of the third year, he can say to the Lord, “Look down from thy holy ____________, from _________, and bless thy people Israel, and the ________ which thou hast given us.”
  5. God promised to make Israel high above all nations in praise, and in _________, and in ____________.

What Does It Mean?

  1. Two key words in this chapter are land and place . The word, land, is used 7 times (v.1, 2, 9, 10, 15).  The word, place, is used 3 times (v.2, 9). Carefully read these verses and make a list of things we can learn about Israel’s land and place from this chapter.  Your list should have at least three items.
  2. The nation of Israel is pictured as an individual in verse 5, “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.”  The reference to Egypt is fairly easy to understand. However, what does it mean that Israel’s father was a Syrian ready to perish?  HINTS: The answer is in the book of Genesis and another name for Syria is Aram.
  3. Bible students disagree as to the full application of the tithe of the third year mentioned in verses 12-14.  Jewish tradition says that it was in addition to the basic tithe and created a double tithe every third year.  But sometimes we need to concentrate on what we are clearly told and not on the questions.  Read these verses and tell what you can definitely say about the third year tithe.

What Does It Mean to Me?

  1. Why did God have the Israelites bring of the firstfruits of the land as an offering?  What do you think this offering would signify?  How can we apply this principle to our lives today?
  2. The word, avouch (“avouched”), is found 2 times in this chapter (v.17, 18).  In fact, this is the only two times this word in found in the entire Bible.  The word means to affirm positively; to declare the truth of; to acknowledge openly.  It is related to the idea of vouching for someone.  Why do you think this word is used here?  Carefully read the verses.  The Israelites are made to be God’s “peculiar people” (v.18) and His “holy people” (v.19).  What does this mean to you?  What application does this have to our present relationship with God?  See Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9.
David Reagan
Daily Proverb

Proverbs 18:16

A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.