Why We Give

Deuteronomy 26:1-15 (CEB)

26 Once you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you take possession of it and are settled there, 2 take some of the early produce of the fertile ground that you have harvested from the land the Lord your God is giving you, and put it in a basket. Then go to the location the Lord your God selects for his name to reside. 3 Go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him: “I am declaring right now before the Lord my God that I have indeed arrived in the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.”

4 The priest will then take the basket from you and place it before the Lord your God’s altar. 5 Then you should solemnly state before the Lord your God:

“My father was a starving Aramean. He went down to Egypt, living as an immigrant there with few family members, but that is where he became a great nation, mighty and numerous. 6 The Egyptians treated us terribly, oppressing us and forcing hard labor on us. 7 So we cried out for help to the Lord, our ancestors’ God. The Lord heard our call. God saw our misery, our trouble, and our oppression. 8 The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, with awesome power, and with signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land—a land full of milk and honey. 10 So now I am bringing the early produce of the fertile ground that you, Lord, have given me.”

Set the produce before the Lord your God, bowing down before the Lord your God.11 Then celebrate all the good things the Lord your God has done for you and your family—each one of you along with the Levites and the immigrants who are among you.

12 When you have finished paying the entire tenth part of your produce on the third year—that is the year for paying the tenth-part—you will give it to the Levites, the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows so they can eat in your cities until they are full.13 Then announce before the Lord your God: “I have removed the holy portion from my house, and I have given it to the Levites, the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows—in full compliance with your entire commandment that you commanded me. I haven’t broken your commandments. I haven’t forgotten one! 14 I haven’t eaten from the holy portion while mourning, nor did I remove it while I was polluted, nor have I dedicated any of it to the dead. I’ve obeyed the Lord my God’s voice. I’ve done everything just as you commanded me. 15 Please look down from your holy home, from heaven itself, and bless your people Israel and the fertile land that you have given us—a land full of milk and honey—just like you promised our ancestors.”