How Do Non-Ancient-Farmers Honor the Lord with their ‘First-Fruits’?
Ummmmm . . . okay . . . Say what?
Here is the question in more (and better) detail:
“Proverbs 3:9-10 says: ‘Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all
your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats
will brim over with new wine.’
I understand that this passage applies to tithing etc. But what about the
term “firstfruits”? Does the instruction to ‘honor the Lord … with the
firstfruits,’ apply to those of us who are not farmers? If so, what do you
think our ‘firstfruits’ are?”
This is not only a good question – but a VERY important one – for all followers of Jesus and church members.
Here’s my answer:
“In the Old Testament, they more or less ‘paid’ their tithes with their produce, or at best with money from their produce. It was their source of income. It was what they went to work for.
Being that farming is rare today (at least in the sense it was a MUST for just about every human living during the Old Testament), the majority of God’s people today ‘go to work’ for income doing something else.
For the farmer’s tithe – his firstfruits was off the top. In other words, he offered the first and best gleanings from his produce. He didn’t give God the ‘leftovers.’
For us it is very similar. It is giving God what is best and first. It is giving God off of the top. It is tithing BEFORE taxes. It is tithing off of the gross income. It is a way of demonstrating to God that He is getting and is worthy of the best we have to offer.”
What does this mean for you and me? It means that we don’t wait to see if we are going to have enough at the end of the month before we decide whether or not we are going to give financially to the church. It means we decide beforehand what we will give and then live off of the rest.
Oh, you don’t have to. You could keep giving like you currently give, getting the results you now get. Or, you could decide to give God what is first and best in order to have “a cupboard overflowing with Cheez-Its
and Diet Coke
bursting out of the fridge.”