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Deuteronomy 26 (The Message)

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1 Once you enter the land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance and take it over and settle down, 2 you are to take some of all the firstfruits of what you grow in the land that God, your God, is giving you, put them in a basket and go to the place God, your God, sets apart for you to worship him. 3 At that time, go to the priest who is there and say, "I announce to God, your God, today that I have entered the land that God promised our ancestors that he'd give to us." 4 The priest will take the basket from you and place it on the Altar of God, your God. 5 And there in the Presence of God, your God, you will recite, A wandering Aramean was my father, he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, he and just a handful of his brothers at first, but soon they became a great nation, mighty and many. 6 The Egyptians abused and battered us, in a cruel and savage slavery. 7 We cried out to God, the God-of-Our-Fathers: He listened to our voice, he saw our destitution, our trouble, our cruel plight. 8 And God took us out of Egypt with his strong hand and long arm, terrible and great, with signs and miracle-wonders. 9 And he brought us to this place, gave us this land flowing with milk and honey. 10 So here I am. I've brought the firstfruits of what I've grown on this ground you gave me, O God. 11 And rejoice! Celebrate all the good things that God, your God, has given you and your family; you and the Levite and the foreigner who lives with you. 12 Every third year, the year of the tithe, give a tenth of your produce to the Levite, the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow so that they may eat their fill in your cities. 13 And then, in the Presence of God, your God, say this: I have brought the sacred share, I've given it to the Levite, foreigner, orphan, and widow. What you commanded, I've done. I haven't detoured around your commands, I haven't forgotten a single one. 14 I haven't eaten from the sacred share while mourning, I haven't removed any of it while ritually unclean, I haven't used it in funeral feasts. I have listened obediently to the Voice of God, my God, I have lived the way you commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy house in Heaven! Bless your people Israel and the ground you gave us, just as you promised our ancestors you would, this land flowing with milk and honey. 16 This very day God, your God, commands you to follow these rules and regulations, to live them out with everything you have in you. 17 You've renewed your vows today that God is your God, that you'll live the way he shows you; do what he tells you in the rules, regulations, and commandments; and listen obediently to him. 18 And today God has reaffirmed that you are dearly held treasure just as he promised, a people entrusted with keeping his commandments, 19 a people set high above all other nations that he's made, high in praise, fame, and honor: you're a people holy to God, your God. That's what he has promised.
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