Reading through the Bible together

Friday, October 12, 2012

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“Firstfruits” refer to the first portion of the harvest that is given to God. Interestingly, the Feast of Firstfruits was instituted when the nation of Israel was still wandering, without land or crops. It was observed in faith that God would lead the people to the land He had promised.

Spiritually speaking, by giving God the firstfruits, Israel acknowledged that all good things come from God and that everything belongs to God. Giving the firstfruits was also a way of expressing trust in God's provision; just as He provided the firstfruits, so He would provide the rest of the crops that were needed.

The giving of firstfruits are mentioned in connection all three of the main Jewish holidays (see Numbers 28:16; Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:10). God wanted them to express their gratefulness for his abundant blessings more than once a year. We need to cultivate an attitude of gratefulness for God’s continued showers of blessing.

In the New Testament, the firstfruits offering is mentioned seven times, always symbolically. Although, there is no New Testament admonition binding us to give "firstfruits” we do know that God loves a cheerful giver. Christians are expected to give of their substance to support the work of the church and missions. We, like the Israelites need to give. “Give and it will be given to you.” (Luke 6:38)

“Dear God, today provide me an opportunity to give and help me to be cheerful about it.”

John Ash
Chinese Union Mission
Hong Kong