Deuteronomy chapter 26 discusses the joy of giving financially to those who are called and ordained of YHVH to do his spiritual work on earth as well as to the poor among you and the blessings that come on the giver as a result (vv. 1–15, 19). Giving is a holy activity (v. 13), and when YHVH’s people obey him in this area and observe his other commandments as well, he proclaims them to be his special people and promises to promote them high above the nations of the world as his holy people (vv. 17–20). This YHVH did for ancient Israel when they obeyed him, and he promises to do the same for those who obey him now (2 Cor 1:20). These eternal and immutable principles of the Torah are for all people for all time and have not changed over time regardless of men’s traditions and religious doctrines that say otherwise. You may not feel like YHVH has presently exalted you above all those around you, but consider this: What is your salvation worth and what will your status be after you’ve received your glorified body and are ruling and reigning with King Yeshua over this earth after his return?
Deuteronomy 26:4–11, You shall answer.This was the prayer that one was to make when one brought their tithe to YHVH. Bringing one’s tithe to YHVH was an act of gratefulness and worship and was brought with a joyful heart for the blessing the Almighty had bestowed upon the tithe-giver.
Deuteronomy 26:11, You shall rejoice.Bringing one’s tithes and offerings to YHVH is to be a joyful event since it is a reflection of our gratitude to him for abundantly blessing us. (Compare this verse with 2 Corinthians 9:6–11.) Giving to YHVH is a form of worship since it allows us to put our treasure where our heart is (Luke 12:34). Please join me in praying this prayer:
Father, help us to give to you out of the abundance of our hearts joyfully and with gratitude for your blessings and bounty in our lives. Help me not to be a fair-weather giver only, but to give out of obedience, even sacrificially, that we may learn to have faith in your promises of provision and to obey you no matter the circumstances. Amein.
(For a brief study on tithing and giving, please see my teaching entitled, “Is Tithing for Us Today?” which is available on our ministry website at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/tithing.pdf.)
Deuteronomy 26:12, You shall give to the Levite, to the proselyte, to the orphan, and to the widow.Throughout the Tanakh, YHVH has a special place in his heart for the “underdogs” of society, as did Yeshua in his ministry. There are those, who through no fault of their own, and some due to their own faults, need help and extra grace and mercy. What is your attitude toward those who fall into this camp? What are you doing to help them?
Deuteronomy 26:13–15, Prayer offered when giving. This is the prayer that the tithe-payer is to pray upon bringing his tithe to YHVH. Tithing leads to prosperity, but for whom? Just the individual? Notice in verse 15 the wording: “bless your people Israel…” The tithe-payer is praying for blessings not just upon himself, but upon the entire nation. What can we draw from this? Is there room for selfish prayers here? What happens when the whole community is tithing and everyone is praying for everyone else’s well-being and blessing?
Deuteronomy 26:17–19, You have distinguished YHVH…YHVH has distinguished you.What does this mean? What is YHVH’s attitude toward Israel? What does the word avouched or distinguished (some translations read: proclaimed or agreeing) mean here? What is transpiring here with the people distinguishing YHVH and YHVH returning the action in verse 18? The resulting action is in verse 19.