Today's devotion from Deuteronomy 26.
These verses continue to direct the actions of the Israelites as the Promised Land becomes their home. Moses, of course, will not enter the land, but that isn't stopping him from being used by God to instruct the people on what is to come.
One of the things about this particular section that interested me was in that the land wasn't really theres until they were able to eat of its fruit and give offerings of the produce. It was when they made that first offering after harvesting that they were to go the priest and say, "Today I declare to the Lord your God that I have entered the land the Lordswore to our fathers to give us." (Deuteronomy 26:3, CSB)
When I think about the Israelites and the Promised Land, I think about the book of Joshua. I think about conquest. I think about battle and victory. It's not just about having the land, it's about living in the land. These verses in Deuteronomy help me remember that God is not just interested in giving us victory, but in establishing us in His promises.
The same could be said of our salvation. Too many people think their salvation is just victory over sin, but our salvation is not just being saved from sin. It's about being brought into His kingdom, into Christ, into His righteousness. It's not about grasping the promise, but living in the reality of it. This is why sanctification is so important. It would be hard to say that I have arrived in the promised salvation of the Lord if I don't yet possess its fruit.
What's more is that its not enough for the Israelites to offer the fruit back to God, but to share it with the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, "...so that they may eat within your towns and be filled." (Deuteronomy 26:12, ESV) It is only after this is accomplished that the Israelites can stand before God and ask for blessing on the people and land.
Fruit is an incredibly important part of God's promise. For the Israelites that included actual fruit, but for us His promise produces a spiritual fruit of a changed life. How is the fruit in your life?