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This small group Deuteronomy 26 Bible study guide contains commentary, discussion questions, cross-references, and application to encourage life change. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Deuteronomy 26 Bible Study And Questions – Special Offerings After Entering The Land

Outline

I. A special offering after entering the land (1-11)
II. The first third-year tithe (12-19)

I. A special offering after entering the land (1-11)

Discussion Questions

• What were the people to do after they came into the land?
• Was this tithe one of the previously prescribed tithes or something different?
• Why was it important for them to make a special offering after taking possession of the land?
• What was this offering meant to show about their success?
• How can we apply this principle to our lives today?
• Should we give an offering from the first income we receive from a new job, project, or investment? What could we express to God through such an offering?
• If someone has been waiting a long time for a promotion or success and finally their hard work
• How would most people likely choose to use the first income from a long-awaited promotion or job?
• What were they supposed to say when they presented this offering (5-10)?
• Why was it helpful for them to remember their humble beginnings?
• How can remembering your past give you a more grateful attitude today?
• What has God done in your life that should cause you to rejoice (11)?

Cross-References

Malachi 3:8-10 – Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 – The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Proverbs 3:9 – Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.

Hebrews 12:28 – Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.

Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. When you have come into the land – It is not if, but when. God had made a promise and their victory was assured. God writes history before the fact. Someone once said that “history is written by the victors.” That is true. God will always be ultimately victorious.

Application – Make sure you are on the winning side!

2. A special offering – In verses 1-11, Moses prescribes a special offering that the people were to present to God after taking possession of the land. They were to take some of the very first of their first harvest to give to the Lord.

This was an important way for them to acknowledge God’s goodness and give Him credit for all of the blessings they had received. Here are a few reasons for this special tithe.

• It was a tangible way for them to recognize that all they had received was a gift from God.
• It was a way for them to give credit to the Lord for their victory
• It was a way for them to build their faith in the Lord. By giving to God of the first, they had to trust in Him to continue to provide. It was like saying, “We trust in your provision and believe that more will be coming in.”
• It set a good habit for them to practice putting God first in everyday life.
• To present this offering, they had to travel to the place that God chose. That also set a good precedent. They were not to live in isolation. Regular corporate worship was an integral part of their spiritual and national identity.

The principle we learn from this passage is clear. We should recognize that all of our successes come from God. When possible, we should consider ways to show our appreciation of, reliance upon, and faith in God in tangible ways, especially with the first fruits of a business or venture.

Here are some ways a person could apply this principle today.

• Give an extra portion of your first paycheck to the Lord at a new job or from a new promotion.
• Donate the first month’s royalties from a published book to God.
• Hold a housewarming for a newly purchased house. Give a prayer of thanks to God. Show hospitality by inviting guests over weekly for the first month after moving.

Our sinful nature is prideful. Thus, our tendency after we achieve success is to pat ourselves on the back. Accolades and compliments can go to our heads. Ego can become a problem and if not that, then complacency.

This was a big issue for Israel, too. The more prosperous they got, the more prideful they became.

Hosea 12:8 – Ephraim has said, “Ah, but I am rich; I have found wealth for myself; in all my labors they cannot find in me iniquity or sin.

They believed that their success was self-made. The world also heaps praise on the so-called “self-made” man. The reality is that there are no self-made men. Everyone is made by God and our successes are because of Him.

The so-called “self-made man” believes that his success is due to his own strength and intelligence. However, all of the resources we have, the environment we grew up in, and even our health and IQ are all gifts from God. Every “good gift is from above.” (James 1:17).

Application – We should be careful to be humble about our successes. Instead of giving credit to ourselves, we should give glory to God where it is due. There is more to this than habitually saying, “Praise God” when someone compliments you. Words can become formulaic and even fake. We need to go deeper to evaluate our own heart and motivations. In our hearts, we need to truly believe that our successes are due to God’s grace. When you believe that, it will naturally impact how you react to success and when people compliment you for those successes.

3. Their humble beginnings – Verses 5-11 describe the confession the people were to make when they presented this special offering. The confession was a lengthy description of their humble beginnings as a nation and God’s faithfulness throughout their history.

• A wandering Aramean was my father – This is a reference to Jacob, who wandered in Aram for 20 years before returning to the land of Canaan after getting married.
• He went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number – Jacob and his whole family went to Egypt to escape the famine.
• There, he became a great nation – God turned a family into a nation. This was His doing. They began by His power and would only continue by His power.
          o Galatians 3:3 – Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
• The Egyptians treated us harshly… the Lord heard our voice – They were unable to save themselves or extricate themselves from the situation.
• The Lord brought us out of Egypt – Their nationhood would have been impossible without God’s divine deliverance. He was there with them from the very start.
• He brought us into this place and gave us this land – Remembering their history and God’s faithfulness should give them proper perspective. Specifically, it should keep them humble.

Application – Consider your humble beginnings. Think back on where you were in the past and on how far God has brought you. What does this journey teach you about God? What does it teach you about yourself? How have you seen God’s faithfulness in your life over the years?

4. You shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you (11) –

The people were commanded to rejoice.

Reflect – What does it mean to rejoice? Can you make yourself rejoice? What is the opposite of rejoicing?

For them, to rejoice meant that they were to acknowledge God’s divine blessing and take delight in them. It was an attitude of appreciation.

There are many attitudes that work directly against rejoicing. One of these is complaining. When we focus on the negatives, it makes it very difficult to rejoice.

Application

God wants us to rejoice. If He wanted us to walk around with a frown on our faces all the time, He would not have created the facial muscles necessary for us to smile. Some think that Christians can’t have fun. They imagine that we are supposed to act like a monk chanting dull songs all the time. While there is a time and a place to be serious, God wants us to be happy, to rejoice in Him, and to fully enjoy the good things He has given us.

Ecclesiastes 5:19 – Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.

1 Timothy 6:17 – As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

Reflect – What has God done in your life that should cause you to rejoice (11)?

II. The first third-year tithe (12-19)

Discussion Questions

• What tithe is referenced in this passage?
• What was this “third-year” tithe for? Who was it distributed to?
• What confession were they to make?
• Why was it important for the people to make this statement before God?
• Is it appropriate to make a declaration of our obedience and faithfulness? Why or why not?
• What did they petition the Lord (15)?
• What attitude were they to have toward these rules (16)?
• What were the responsibilities of the people?
• What was God’s commitment toward them?
• If you were to write down your job description as a follower of Christ, what would it be?

Cross-References

Deuteronomy 14:28-29 – At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.

Philippians 4:19 – And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. The third-year tithe – This tithe is described in Deuteronomy 14:28-29. Every third year, the people were not to take their tithes to the central place of worship. Instead, they were to distribute them locally to the needy all over the country in the rural areas and villages.

It seems that the first time this third-year tithe was given after entering the land was a special one to commemorate their covenant relationship with God and express their gratitude for having received the land as their inheritance.

2. Then you shall say – When they first gave this tithe on the third year after entering the land, they were to make a statement of obedience. This was like a confession of their faith.

Throughout Deuteronomy, we see that it was very important for the people to verbalize their faith in God. Making these confessions out loud reinforced their faith and their commitment to keep their side of the covenant relationship with the LORD.

People today also find great value in verbally affirming their commitments. Couples affirm their wedding vows verbally in front of witnesses. Worshipers state their belief in or love of God regularly during corporate worsh