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As the man of GOD is drawing to a conclusion on the subject of laws, in this chapter he points out the form of words to be used in offering the basket of first-fruits; and the prayer with which the offering is to be brought; and then follows up both, with reminding the people once more, in whose name and authority he had acted, in the delivery of the commandments.
There seems to have been a double design in this precept. In presenting the first of everything to the LORD, we not only acknowledge the right of his sovereignty, but we deny ourselves. The prophet Micah saith, "My soul desired the first ripe fruit." Micah 7:1 . The giving that to GOD, which the heart seems most itself to desire, is therefore a blessed proof of self-denial. But beside these things, is there not an eye to JESUS in this appointment? Is he not expressly called the first fruits by the apostle? 1 Corinthians 15:20 . And it is remarkable, that the day the first fruits of barley were to be offered, corresponded to the day when JESUS arose from the grave. And so again, on the day in which the first fruits of the wheat-harvest were presented to the LORD, corresponded to the day when JESUS sent down the first fruits of the HOLY GHOST. Compare Deuteronomy 16:0 with the Evangelists on the resurrection, and Acts 2:1-2 .
Nothing could be more proper, than that every Israelite with his own mouth, should confess that the LORD had fulfilled his promise, in bringing him to the land he had said. Reader! and will not every true Israelite of the spiritual seed of JESUS say this, when he cometh to that rest, which remaineth for the people of GOD? Hebrews 4:9 .
JESUS is both our priest, and altar, and offering. It is he which sanctifieth all the gifts of his people.
Jacob was in fact a Syrian, for he lived many years in Padanaram. And Laban, his father-in-law, was a Syrian, consequently his daughters sprung from thence. It is good to remind the spiritual Israel of the hole of the pit, whence they were digged. Isaiah 51:2 .
I hope the Reader will not fail to read these verses with profit, if while he beholds the trainment of Israel, and remembers their history, he looks back and connects with it his own. Do you know my brother, what the spiritual oppressions of Egyptian bondage under Sin and Satan mean? Do you remember the wormwood and the gall? Can you recollect the time, the place, the memorable spot, and the LORD'S answers to prayer, when from the depth of sin, you cried to the depth of divine mercy, and found JESUS who brought you out of darkness, and brought you into his marvellous light? If you can enter into an apprehension of these things, you will not fail, under divine teaching, to enter into a real enjoyment and participation of the Israelite's thankful approach to GOD, with the first fruits of his land. Oh! the sweetness of that scripture when the heart of a believer can fully adopt it for his own. Psalms 107:0 . throughout.
This law was pointed out before: Deuteronomy 14:28-29 .
The Jews have a tradition, that these words were spoken with a low voice, in token of humility. And, indeed, if we read with an eye to the pure gospel of JESUS, there is a great propriety in so doing. Remember what JESUS saith: Luke 17:10 . The blessing implored for all Israel at the close of the prayer, is very sweet. So should the faithful in CHRIST JESUS, constantly pray for the whole church of JESUS. That is a delightful resolution of the prophet, and worthy of universal imitation: Isaiah 62:1 . And that is a positive precept of the LORD, particularly to his priests and ministers: Isaiah 62:6-7 .
I would have the Reader attend to the expressions in these verses, with an eye to the original covenant of grace, and he will then enter into a proper apprehension of them. That original covenant was, that in the seed of Abraham, should all the nations of the earth be blessed. "He saith not (saith the apostle Paid) and to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, which is CHRIST." Galatians 3:16 . When GOD, therefore, is here said to avouch himself to be the LORD GOD of Israel, it is that in CHRIST, GOD promiseth to bless his people, and to accept them in him. And his people avouch GOD to be their GOD in CHRIST; depending upon the fulfillment of all his promised covenanted mercies in him. Those expressions of making Israel high, in name, in honour, and in praise; and an holy people above all nations, are all very striking characters of the Israel of GOD. And who is, or ought to be, so holy, so high, so honourable, in their birth, their state; their life, their conversation, as those who have fellowship with the FATHER, and with his Son JESUS CHRIST? Who so peculiar as those, whom the LORD GOD of heaven and earth hath made his Segullah, that is, his chosen ones, his peculiar people. Reader! may it be your happiness and mine, to do as Israel did, avouch GOD to be our GOD, and may he avouch us to be his people.
BLESSED JESUS! thou art the first fruits indeed, and the first and last, and best offering of my soul, for acceptance with my GOD. Early do I desire to bring thee in the first of every year, and the first of every day, and the first of every morning of the day, and close of the day, as the sole cause of my rejoicing: for in the moment I do this, I desire with the Israelite to cry out, A Gentile ready to perish was my father, and from the Egypt of sin and death, hath the LORD brought out soul. He remembered me in my low estate, for his mercy endureth forever. And will the LORD, indeed, condescend to avouch me for his own? Shall I be of his chosen ones! Will the FATHER of mercies look upon me as accepted in the beloved, and mark me as the object of his peculiar love? Hath my JESUS purchased me with the peculiar price of his blood? Hath the HOLY GHOST visited my soul with the influences of his peculiar grace? Am I, indeed, the object of the united mercy of the Holy Three in One: and are the peculiar blessings of the covenant, the portion of my soul? LORD! grant me grace this day to avouch myself, with all I have, and all I am, to be thine forever. Take my two mites (for soul and body are nothing more, compared to this vast treasury) and accept them, O LORD, in JESUS, for of thine own do I give thee. Witness for me, ye angels of light, that I will know no other GOD but the LORD GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; that I desire to be distinguished from all the nations of the earth, that are not the Israel of GOD, as separated from them; and that henceforth I will make mention of his righteousness, even his only, who is the GOD of my life, and will be my portion forever.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 26". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26