Memory Verse: “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase,” Proverbs 3:9.
Bible Passage: Exodus 13:1, 12-15
The doctrine of first fruits in scripture is multifaceted. The common thread is the principle of putting God first in all things and at all times. We know He is the first and the last. When we put Him first we are only aligning ourselves with eternal truth and getting our priority right. It is in our best interest and highly profitable.
• The first fruit of increase – Pro.3:9-10. Here the first increase received over the previous sums or amounts or state is dedicated to God as an expression of gratitude and a mark of honour.
• The first fruit of sacrifice – Genesis 22. Here we sacrifice and give up the most precious thing, person or possession to God. It is giving your best and your all to God. God asked Abraham to give Him his only biological son, Isaac, who Abraham loved ever so dearly. Usually there is no safety net or real prospect of replacement in the natural. It might be the entire first salary in a new year or in a new job. God responds in different ways. – Gen.22:15-18.
• Redemption of the first male child – Ex.13:13; 34:20; Num.18:15-19. The first male child belongs to God. You have to give him up to God or redeem him. Failure to redeem is often responsible for a lot of the problems with the first son.
The story and testimony of Abraham is one of the most telling illustrations of the inevitable blessing of putting God first – Gen.22:15-18. God really promoted and prospered Abraham. God is not partial or a respecter of persons. He respects principles and looks at the heart. Abraham honoured God and he was mightily blessed – Gen.24:35-36. Hannah honoured God with Samuel and she had five more children – 1 Sam.2:21. Solomon honoured the Lord with a thousand burnt offerings at the beginning of his reign as the king of Israel. God visited him and blessed him with money and wisdom – 1 Kgs.3:3-14.
Our attitude to the doctrine of first fruit reveals the place of God in our hearts. Like in all other instances, here, God just wants to set us up for stupendous blessings. It is left for us to put Him where He belongs in our affairs or set up and worship an idol in His place. You will honour and serve God all the days of your life in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen!
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