Worshipping God with your first fruit
Text: Exodus 23: 19; Nehemiah 10:35-37
First fruit is a written law for those who put their trust in God. It is meant to test our loyalty; to know if we truly trust God for our supplies. The law that governs first fruit dates back to the time of the children of Israel. The Israelites were commanded to bring before the Lord their first fruit of the land. This means they were to give God the first produce of their increase. They were to do this first, before solving other needs in their homes. The Israelites were also commanded not to delay in giving their first fruit to the Lord.
Giving God the first fruit of the year is a way of showing appreciation to Him for his faithfulness and deliverance from the hands of the enemies. This is supposed to be done with a grateful heart while committing and trusting God for bounty provisions for the rest of the year.
First fruit is applicable to all believers who trust in the Lord. It applies to Christians who are civil servants as well as businessmen and women. To the civil servants, the first fruit represents the first salary of the year. Businessmen and women are expected to give unto the Lord all their profits in the month of January, as their first fruit of the year. The first fruit offering should come from a joyful heart void of grudges. Giving first fruit out of grudges attracts curses instead of blessings. It is rather better not to offer unto the Lord at all than to offer it with pains and struggle.
Covetousness hinders people from giving God their first fruit. Achan lost everything he had because of covetousness. Covetousness is akin to stealing. Therefore, anyone who eats his first fruit is synonymous with a thief because he has stolen what belongs to God. Achan is an epitome of covetousness and believers should learn from his misfortunes. Whatever we offer unto the Lord should be done from the heart and without reservations. It will amount to foolishness to hide part of what is meant for God for oneself. Those who take what belongs to God do that to their own detriment. What belongs to God should be given to him!
However, God cannot accept the first fruit of an unrighteous people. Those who deal in alcohol, hospitality business (night clubs), fraudulent and questionable businesses, are not permitted to offer anything to the Lord because their works are evils. They have no part in the kingdom’s business except they repent and turn away from their unrighteous business. First fruit should come from righteous sources!
Obedience to God’s instructions in giving of first fruit will attract blessings in this New Year.
• For further reading: Exodus 22:29-30; 34:26; Deut. 26:1-11; Joshua 6:18-19; 7:11-12, 19-21; 19:6; 1 Cor. 6:10-11; Deut. 26: 2-4; Prov. 3:9-10.
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