Deuteronomy 16: 13-17 – The World in Front of the Text (Part Two)

rootedchristThis week we are looking deeper at Deuteronomy 16: 13-17, specifically at the concept of the Festival of the Booths (or Tabernacles) and the giving that is associated with it and other festivals. Today we’ll continue to look at the World in front of the Text. Yesterday we talked about how this should shape our thankfulness.  Today we’ll talk about how it should shape our giving.

The thing that strikes me about this passage is how the reminder of what God has done spurs the giving.  There are three festivals each where people are called to give in this manner – unleavened bread, weeks, and booths.  Each of these are about remembering Gods’ faithfulness and thanking God for what He has done.  Unleavened bread remembers the Exodus, the people had to eat this unleavened bread because they had to leave so quickly, the bread didn’t have time to rise.  Weeks and booths thank God for the harvest, for His provision.

Everyone is called to give and to give according to their ability For some a great gift is not a great sacrifice, while for others, a small gift is the hardest thing that one can do.  That’s the point of giving, it is about the ability to sacrifice, to show love, to show respect, to show honor, to show worship, to show thankfulness.

God has given the people so very much.  He has given them freedom and provided for them.  The people at this time are to remember and say this – thank you, God. Thank you for your mercy, your provision and for our lives.

We are to do the same.  We are to be givers.  God has given us so very much.  Our very lives are because of Him.  We woke up this morning.  We have a roof over our heads.  If you are reading this, you are blessed to have enough money to afford the technology to make that possible.  We have folks who love us.  Churches that care for us.  A Savior who died for us.  We have all been blessed.  God is the giver of all of this.

And we have to say thank you.  With our lives.  By giving.  We give and we make sacrifices for those whom we love.  The greatest love in our life should be God.  Which means that love should get the greatest sacrifices.  This means that love should receive the greatest gifts.

The Jewish people gave out of the active memory of all that God had done for them. May we do the same.

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