God is Gracious

[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. (Deuteronomy 26:1–2)

God is so gracious it is stunning. 

Consider the Israelites. When God gave the instructions in Deuteronomy chapter 26, the Israelites were nothing. They were less than nothing. They were slaves. Yet God honored a promise made long before hand (Genesis 12:1), choosing to make Israel a great nation, a blessing to all nations.

God is so gracious.

In Deuteronomy chapter 26, the slaves in Egypt find that having a land of their own is a done deal. From God’s perspective, it’s so certain it’s already done. Not only will Israel have their own land, but the land will bear fruit. Thus, the Lord instructs Israel in how to give thanks to him once in the promised land. They are to give some of their first fruits of the ground back to God.  

God is so gracious. 

We, too, have experienced God’s graciousness. We were nothing. We were less than nothing. We were slaves to sin. This sin cut us off from any hope of a relationship with God now or in eternity. 

In last week’s epistle we were told that Jesus is the first fruits of those raised from the dead (1 Corinthians chapter 15). In His resurrection Jesus proved that His death earned the forgiveness of sins for all people. Thus, God has led us out of our slavery to sin, making us His people. God will even deliver us to our own “promised land,” a new heavens and new earth. 

God is so gracious. 

Like Israel, we have the opportunity to give thanks to God for being so gracious to us. We can return to Him some of our first fruits. There are myriad of ways we can do this, from prayer first thing in the morning to making our tithe the first financial gift we make each week or month. 

God is truly so gracious. 

(A Second Look devotions are written for the congregations of Ohio District – LCMS).

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