Remembering our blessings

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Awesome Hands – Part 154 “Remembering our blessings”

September 23, 2019

Remembering the past is usually a good way to look towards the future.

While some memories allow us to remember the pleasant and good things we were blessed with in the past, there are also hard-learned lessons which are memories which we should keep just as close to our hearts.

Our study today finds us remembering the many blessings the Lord has given us while also acknowledging those blessings in the actions we take today.

Our verses of study for today are found in Deuteronomy 26, but first we will see how these verses connect us to the new testament.

James shows us in the new testament what the physical Jews shadowed for us in the old testament.

Jas 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Jas 1:23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
Jas 1:24  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Jas 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Jas 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
Jas 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

The verses found in Deuteronomy directly show us the working of the awesome hands of the Lord in our lives, if only we were able to regularly think on and remember these things:

Deu 26:1  And 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;
Deu 26:2  That 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.
Deu 26:3  And 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.
Deu 26:4  And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD thy God.

There are several important things being said within these four verses. These verses set us up to think about the rest of the points that follow.

First, we find ourselves having arrived in the land that the Lord has promised us, and the work needed to make the land prosperous has already taken place. We have worked the land, the Lord has blessed the labor of our hands, and the first fruit is now available for harvest.

What do we do with this harvest? We are to take the first fruits of the earth and put them in a basket and take it to the priest. The priest will then take this basket of first fruits and place it before the altar.

While placed before the altar, we are to say:

Deu 26:5  And 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:
Deu 26:6  And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage:
Deu 26:7  And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:
Deu 26:8  And 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:
Deu 26:9  And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.
Deu 26:10  And 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:
Deu 26:11  And 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.

It is easy to state when not in the heat of the moment, but even this recounting we are to give to the Lord is itself a recounting of the mighty work the Lord has done even in those that have come before us so that WE could be where WE are currently… praying and thankful before the altar of the Lord.

Jacob was a Syrian by descent because his mother Rebecca and his grandfather Abraham were Syrians. Jacob also had dwelt with Laban for like 20 years before eventually being pursued by Esau.

Indeed, there was a lot of turmoil that happened many hundreds of years before this recounting before the altar could take place. The Lord would have us remember from where it is He has called us.

We are to always rejoice for the blessings the Lord brings to us, our house and to those that are among us… yes, even the Levites in our midst as the Lord has created Levites to serve us in their lives and examples. We are even to be thankful for what the Lord does in the lives of the strangers to the Lord who are among us.

When my neighbor has a blessing given to them, I rejoice in the goodness of the Lord. When my home is blessed via the powers of the Lord, I rejoice. When someone who is unknowledgeable of the Lord and His ways and is healed from a surgery, illness or any other malady, I rejoice in the Lord.

Whatsoever good thing I see the Lord blessing others with, I rejoice because these are things that are happening in my knowledge of those around me … those that are in my house, are Levites among me or are strangers among me.

Along with the remembering and rejoicing before the Lord, we are to pay it forward to those with whom the Lord does not directly have us connected.

We are to help the stranger, the fatherless and the widow, which is the definition of pure religion.

Deu 26:12  When 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;
Deu 26:13  Then 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:
Deu 26:14  I 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.

These offerings are a holy thing to the Lord, and it was not to be offered for these other services. His particular tithing was holy to the Lord. In other words, whatever the Lord was doing elsewhere in our lives, we are not to forget to serve Him in the manner He has laid out for us.

Deu 26:15  Look 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.
Deu 26:16  This 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.
Deu 26:17  Thou 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:
Deu 26:18  And 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;
Deu 26:19  And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.

Earlier I quoted James 1:21-27, so how do these two sections of scripture connect together? It is self-evident, but no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, we are to remember the perfect law of liberty in the Lord.

We are warned to bridle our tongue because out of the treasures of the heart the mouth speaks and the tongue gives sound to that voice.

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Mat 12:35  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Mat 12:36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Mat 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Pro 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Pro 10:11  The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

Pro 21:2  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

Pro 24:12  If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

Luk 6:45  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

When keeping pure religion, there is a process the Lord has created for us to follow today just as was laid out in type for the physical Jew.

We are to remember where it is the Lord has brought us from, knowing He first put us in the “distresses of Egypt” in order to rescue us from them with an outstretched and mighty hand.

Then, we are to remain thankful in the daily tasks of reaping and sowing from the land the Lord has given us plow, till and harvest from. The Lord never negates the original promise He gave Adam of working the land and doing so with the sweat of our brow.

Lastly, our act of tithing, of giving of the labor of our land that which is BEST … the first fruit, is an act of helping those around us that NEED the Light of the Lord in their lives.

We are not to only store up our goods for later, but we are to use what the Lord gives us to help others now. This all has a very spiritual application, but we also know that the physical things of this world teach us about the spiritual things of the heavens.

Have we ever considered that what others see as physical in nature is really a manifestation of what is happening in our heavens to be shared with others? I will leave these questions for us to ponder as we end this study.

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1Co 2:15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. Rom 1:20 (ESV) or his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Heb 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Other related posts