In such chapters as this you find where our Church gets its teaching about the regulative principle of worship – do what is commanded! This principle gives an entirely different worship service than the commonly followed principle: do what is not forbidden. Eating of meat is given the thumbs up in verse 20.
“There you shall go, and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.”
This passage was a command for Israel on how they were to worship their God.
They were not to worship as the people of the world around them did for their gods.
Instead, Israel was called to a different worship, to the one true and only God, and to give of their best (first-fruits) when they met with Him.
This passage is a command for us today, a word that can be hard to hear sometimes.
We too must give of our best when we come to the worship the Lord together as His people.
In our offerings, our sacrifices, our tithes and contributions, in what we give back to the Lord from what He has given to us.
We’ve seen throughout our walk through the old testament this far that Jesus brings about a deeper, fuller understanding of what God has in store for us, what His laws are about.
Hebrews speaks of the law of Moses as being a copy of the heavenly things.
In Jesus we have now the heavenly things. That is part of what He did, bringing the real to earth (where there were only the copy).
The copies were modelled from the true. So what is true in both stands!
God commanded Israel to bring to Him the first-fruits of their flocks and herds, their crops and gardens.
God commands us to bring to Him the first-fruits of our time and energy, which go into planting the gospel in whatever place God puts us, praying that He would grow the word and that we would be good soil and bear much fruit.
Let us wrestle with what it means to bring to God our best when we come together, and let us be encouraged to grasp what it means that all of our lives (when we are together or apart) are to be living sacrifices to God.
* Father God,
Thank You for Your word that is contained within the old and new testaments.
Thank You for this passage in Deuteronomy. We trust You that it contains much wisdom for us, as with all Your word, such that we will plumb the depths until we head to glory and never reach the bottom!
Please help us to have hearts open to hear and see what You want us to know today, for our good.