“This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and rules. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules, and will obey his voice. And the LORD has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.” Deuteronomy 26:16-19
In a wedding ceremony, two people make mutual declarations of commitment, vows to love and cherish the other no matter what, for the whole of life. They declare what is true now, and what they determine to uphold in the future. As God was establishing His chosen people, He brought them into a similar union with Him, setting a pattern of their regular offering to Him of their firstfruits, a symbol of their ongoing allegiance to Him. In their careful obedience, they were declaring that He was the LORD their God, worthy of their best, and that they were His holy people, as He had declared over them.
When we grasp what God has said about us and done for us, our lives will reflect those truths. We can set aside preoccupation with ourselves and think differently from the world: we are God’s treasured possession, His image-bearers. We will value every life, no matter creed or color or nationality, age or accomplishment or background: He breathes breath into living beings, has fearfully and wonderfully made us, and sets in honor His people. We will endeavor to utilize our spiritual gifts in employment of our time and resources: He has given us guidelines for living, and bestowed gifts for the fruitful working of His body, the church. We will offer ourselves as living sacrifices and our means in gratitude: everything we have is from His hands. (Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Psalm 139:13-16; Romans 12:1,3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; James 1:17)
Before we spout forth like tidal waves our opinions, reactions, offenses, criticisms, or corrections, would we contemplate what is true about us, and how that should change our declarations? In what ways will God’s covenant to me inform and direct my view of others, and of required obedience to His principles in dealing with them? What will my speech say about what I believe to be true about God and the people He has designed and created? How do my choices and actions reflect that I am His chosen, the object of His affection, holy as He? (Leviticus 11:44)
Father, because of Your grace banner over me, I declare to You my fealty, my undying and careful devotion to Your ways, my desire to see You glorified in my life and the world. Help me live and speak in a way that brings honor to Your name and exalts You as faithful LORD.