“And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm…And He hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land…And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which Thou, O LORD, hast given me…And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee” (Deut. 26:8-11).
Deuteronomy 26 instructs Israel how, after they entered the Promised Land and conquered it, they were to bring the first fruits from their first harvest that they reaped from the land and to present it to the Lord in worship and thanksgiving (Deut. 26:1-2). Now this was told to Israel before they entered the land, but these instructions were given in full expectation that they would conquer and possess the land as God said they would (Deut. 6:1; 7:1-2). God is faithful, and when He makes a promise, it’s as good as done. Joshua wrote years later:
“And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein…There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass” (Josh. 21:43-45).
Having trusted Christ as our Savior, God says we’re heaven bound. One day when we stand in God’s heaven, dwelling in the presence of God, blessed and exalted in Christ, we’ll also say, “Not one thing failed of any good thing the Lord spoke unto us. All came to pass.” We should start thanking Him now for this by faith!
Out of thanksgiving, Israel was to bring the first and the best of their harvest in a basket to the priest at the tabernacle and then profess audibly, acknowledging God’s faithfulness to Israel in preserving them and bringing them to the land as He had promised (Deut. 26:1-4). They were to rehearse how God had heard their cries and prayers for help in Egypt and that He delivered them out of their hard bondage and affliction “with a mighty hand” (Deut. 26:5-8). God brought Israel out of Egypt by His faithfulness to them and then He would bring Israel in to the Promised Land by His faithfulness to them, giving them a wonderful land which would meet their every need (Deut. 26:9).
Israel was to acknowledge God’s goodness, mercy and working on her behalf. They were to remember how God provided for them, and to worship Him because of “the firstfruits of the land, which Thou, O Lord, hast given me,” and rejoicing “in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee” (Deut. 26:10-11).
These are good things to remember as we observe Thanksgiving. We have a deliverance to remember and thank God for, a deliverance from sin by the sacrifice of our Savior. Christ delivered us from the bondage of our sins with strength, “with an outstretched arm” on the Cross, and “with a mighty hand” that was pierced for our sins. God redeemed us and brought us out of the bondage of our sins, and He is faithful and He will bring us in to our hope of heaven one day. Like Israel of old, we should recognize how God has provided for us and has worked in our lives. We should praise Him together because of His goodness to us, thanking Him and rejoicing in “every good thing” which the Lord has given unto us.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.