And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein;
It is our duty to give unstinted welcome to every visit of enjoyment with which we may be favoured. We frequently allow streams of refreshment or exhilaration to run past us without dipping into or tasting them; we blunderingly overlook many a cup of soothing and pleasing that is offered to us as we go trudging by. We are slow to discover and seize our golden chances, and hardly know how to make the most of them. At times we are afraid, it would seem, pausing now and then to squeeze a drop or two of severe or melancholy reflection into the goblet, as if there might be sin in having it too rich and sweet. The angel descending to solace us in our Gethsemane with a brief pleasant thrill, with a brief glimpse and gust of pleasure, flashes by under the sombre, wailing olives in vain, is allowed to vanish unharboured and unutilised.
I. Never turn, in your bitterness of spirit, from any ministry of temporal enjoyment that may intervene; never be so wedded to your woes, so shut up and sunk down in them, that you cannot issue forth to accept such ministry. For, remember, we want to be made joyful for our education quite as much as we need to be tried and troubled. To laugh, to luxuriate, to ripple and glow with delight, at times is just as essential for us, as it is at times to weep and suffer.
II. At times some of us may have had the feeling that there is so much misery in the world that it is hardly right to ignore and forget it for a moment in rejoicing. But let us reflect that, since God is our Father and we His children, we are justified in losing sight of trouble for a time when He gives us a joy to taste. Being only a child, however I must feel about His world, and share in His travail concerning it, I need not be afraid at intervals to cast the entire load upon Him and let Him carry it alone. Souls must turn aside at times to bask in what sunshine they can find, and be mellowed, and warmed, and rosied with it, in order to be of service in the darkness and to help to soften and relieve.
S. A. Tipple, Echoes of Spoken Words, p. 239.
References: Deuteronomy 28:1.—F. W. Farrar, Ephphatha, Sermons, p. 289. Deuteronomy 28:6.—J. P. Gledstone, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xviii., p. 168.
That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.
And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the LORD thy God, that I am come unto the country which the LORD sware unto our fathers for to give us.
And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD thy God.
And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:
And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage:
And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:
And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:
And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.
And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:
And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.
When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;
Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them:
I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me.
Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice:
And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;
And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.