“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.” Proverbs 3:9-10
Firstfruits giving can be a tough concept for a city boy like me. It comes from an agrarian society where most everyone in the region lived off the land, and used a barter system to survive. One farmer might grow tomatoes, and another might grow watermelons. At the end of the harvest they would trade so that both had the necessary food for their families. A farmer would trade fruit or vegetables with a carpenter for a tool. It’s a different life, but the principles of firstfruit giving can still be used by Christians today.
First fruits giving starts with giving to God first. Before the farmer traded, and before the farmer’s family ate he would set aside fruit to give to the Lord. First fruits giving happens before we take care of ourselves. It’s a way that the farmer could show God that He is the priority in his life.
First fruits giving also means BEST fruit giving. A farmer would have a whole bunch of tomatoes or watermelons. Those first fruits would be picked through so that God also got the BEST fruits first. Blemished, broken, or bruised fruits would be kept from the family or traded, but the big, juicy, fresh ones would be given to God. It’s another way to show God that He matters.
How do you follow firstfruits giving today? First, by budgeting gifts to God first before you pay bills, save cash, or spend anything. Make God your giving priority. Second, give him your best. This can be done in giving God time. Which time of day are you at your best? Use some of that for your devotions. Don’t wait until you’re tired and falling asleep, give God your alertness and focus.
Firstfruits giving is an ancient practice from a different society, but it can still shape the way you honor God with your wealth today!