Call to Worship January 12 2020
Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible
III. Here is a command to give cheerfully whatever we give in charity: “Your heart shall not be grieved when you give, Deuteronomy 15:10. Be not unwilling to part with your money on so good an account, nor think of it begrudgingly in unkindness to your brother or in distrust of the providence of God…on the contrary, let it be a pleasure and a satisfaction of soul to you to think that you are honoring God with your substance, doing good, giving your brother relief, and laying up for yourself a good security for the time to come. What you do, do it freely, for God loves a cheerful giver,” 2 Corinthians 9:7.
IV. Here is a promise of a recompense in this life: “For this thing the Lord Your God shall bless you.” Covetous people say “Giving undoes us” no, giving cheerfully in charity will enrich us, it will fill the barns with plenty (Proverbs 3:10) and the soul with true comfort, Isaiah 58:10, 11.
Here is, 1. A repetition of the law concerning the firstlings of their cattle, that, if they were males, they were to be sanctified to the Lord (Deuteronomy 15:19), in remembrance of, and in thankfulness for, the sparing of the first-born of Israel, when the first-born of the Egyptians, both of man and beast, were slain by the destroying angel (Exodus 13:2,15) on the eighth day it was to be given to God ( Exodus 22:30), and to be divided between the priest and the altar, Numbers 18:17,18. 2. An addition to that law, for the further explication of it, directing them what to do with the firstlings, (1.) That were females: “You shalt do no work with the female firstlings of the cow, nor shear those of the sheep” (Deuteronomy 15:19) of them the learned bishop Patrick understands it…they were not to be converted by the owners to their own use as the other cattle, but must be offered to God as peace-offerings, or used in a religious feast, at the year’s end, Deuteronomy 15:20. You shalt eat it before the Lord Your God, as directed Deuteronomy 12:18. (2.) But what must they do with that which was blemished, ill-blemished? Deuteronomy 15:21. Were it male or female, it must not be brought near the sanctuary, nor used either for sacrifice or for holy feasting, for it would not be fit to honor God with, nor to typify Christ, who is a Lamb without blemish yet it must not be reared, but killed and eaten at their own houses as common food (Deuteronomy 15:22), only they must be sure not to eat it with the blood, Deuteronomy 15:23. The frequent repetition of this caution intimates what need the people had of it, and what stress God laid upon it. What a mercy it is that we are not under this yoke! We are not dieted as they were we make no difference between a first calf, or lamb, and the rest that follow. Let us therefore realize the gospel meaning of this law, devoting ourselves and the first of our time and strength to God, as a kind of first-fruits of his creatures, and using all our comforts and enjoyments to his praise and under the direction of his law, as we have them all by his gift.” (Matthew Henry, Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible, Deuteronomy 15, with updated English and language by B.F.S.)