The Bible in a Year: Day 56 (Deuteronomy 26-28)

Deuteronomy 26 — We actually used to read this entire chapter aloud before we took up tithes and offerings in my old church. I think it’s probably the only entire chapter of Scripture that I ever had memorized completely. It’s funny, because even as I read it in the ESV, I kept substituting the KJV in my head. I’m pleased to say that I think my pastor really got the spirit of this chapter. Verses 12-13 say:

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;  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.

My pastor always made sure to take care of others. He put the money taken up in tithes to good use past just paying the church’s bills. I can’t recall a time when anyone came to my pastor with a need and he didn’t do everything in his power to help meet it. He really embodied this principle of taking care of the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

Deuteronomy 27:15-26 — I’m reminded of Trent’s anathemas when reading these curses. It’s more the formulaic manner in which they’re presented than anything else. But the LXX has ἐπικατάρατος for ארור and Louw & Nida put ἐπικατάρατος in the same semantic domain as  ἀνάθεμα so I guess it’s not such a stretch to see some similarity.

Deuteronomy 28 — One of the most sobering chapters in all of Scripture. The blessings are wonderful but they’re contingent on obedience. The consequences for disobedience completely reverse the blessings but seem so much worse. It’s also telling that the section on curses (vv. 15-68) is nearly four times as long as the section on blessing (vv. 1-14). God really wanted to let Israel know just how serious forsaking him for idols was. Also, I’ve always found it odd that those who hold to a “replacement theology,” which says that the church replaces Israel as God’s covenant people, tend to see the blessings being carried over to the church while ignoring the curses.

Deuteronomy 28:64-69 — Definitely prophetic. Definitely an important passage for understanding one of those huge themes in Scripture (i.e., exile & restoration).

B”H

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