First Fruits to Honor The Lord
“Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10
Before the fall of man, Adam and Eve had access to every tree and fruit of the Garden except one. They were free to enjoy all that God had created. There is no mention of sacrifices or offerings or doing anything apart from communing with God in the management and overseeing of the Garden. They spent most of their time discovering and enjoying creation together with God. There was no work of labor involved, as such. They had dominion over it all, to do with it as they pleased except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was cursed.
And we all know the story. Eve was deceived by the serpent whose iniquity was in the fruit of that tree. Being tempted to eat of it even though God had warned them not to eat it because in the day they did they would surely die. Nevertheless, they chose to believe the deceiver rather than be obedient to God’s Word. The result of that act of rebellion has led us to where the world is today. Sin and corruption abound, evil has ravaged the lives of countless millions down through the ages and still continues to this day. But for those who have received the gift of the grace of God given to all mankind through the blood of Jesus, the curse has been lifted and the works of darkness have been revealed.
Though we all still bear in our flesh the imprint of sin, our reborn spirits are alive forever in Christ Jesus our Lord. Our righteousness has been restored and declared to us by God Himself. It is our inheritance in the Covenant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17
Now all things from the beginning were created by God, Jesus Christ, the Maker of all things that were made. You and I, unlike the rest of all creation, were uniquely fashioned in the image and likeness of God to be able to commune with God at a dimension of comprehension and understanding comparable to His own. And God made Himself a man in Jesus Christ His Son, like us, in order that we might comprehend through Jesus Christ Who God the Father is.
“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ ” “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.’ ” John 14:8-11
But all that was intended for him to have and to enjoy was given away. For the riches of the whole of creation, for immortality and health without even the thought of sickness or disease, for joy and immeasurable human fulfillment Adam trade it all for the bite of a piece of fruit. In his disobedient lust for what he thought he would gain, not realizing that he already had more than he could ever fully comprehend, he lost it all for a promise that would never be fulfilled. At that very moment he began to die and all mankind and nature began to die. All became mortal and transient.
That’s the bad news.
Now the Good News
God did not leave us in our fallen state alone and without hope. Far from it even in pronouncing the curse on the serpent and on the ground because of him and on Adam and Eve because of their will disobedience, He also set in motion the manner by which they and we would all be redeemed from that curse. Sin was introduced through Adam, but also through Adam and Eve would come the Savior who would redeem us from sin.
Through the long genealogies listed in the scripture there is an unfolding story that leads to Noah and from his seed to Abraham. From Abraham the story continues to Jacob and from Jacob to Israel from Israel to Joseph and from Joseph to David and Jesse the father of David and from David it culminates in the birth of Jesus, Who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
With Jesus worship which began with Moses in the Tabernacle finds its fulfillment in the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus unto a New Covenant sealed in His Blood that brings redemption, restoration and transformation by His Spirit to everyone who will believe Him, that He is the Son of God, both Savior and Lord.
Now as new born creations in Christ Jesus we have a new life, a new calling a new purpose, a new hope of eternal life and a new pathway that leads to life eternal on the Heavens with the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit forever.
Now we are the sons of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Under the Old Law men were compelled by law and the penalty of death to make offerings and sacrifices to God daily and year after year, the High Priest making atonement for the sins of the people. Under the New Law, Jesus has made sacrifice and the offering of His blood once and for all time for everyone who will receive Him by faith, even for the whole world.
So how do we respond to such a gift, to such mercy and such grace? How do we respond to such Love that spared not His own Son, but gave Him up for us all? We answer His call to worship Him in spirit and in truth. This is the means by which we please Him and fulfill our purpose, but it is also the means by which we are kept from sin and falling away to the same deception that lead Adam and Eve to loose all that God had created for them to enjoy.
When we worship God, therefore, we must come to Him with our utmost best, the purest, the most costly and the ultimate possessions of our storehouses. Bringing to him the first fruits of all our increase is our heart-engaged act of worship and expression of thanksgiving for His great love shown and demonstrated to us in the death of Jesus our Lord which saved us from sin and His resurrection that opened the pathway to our eternal life.
What are our first fruits? What is the offering that honors God? What is the substance that we have to give to Him?
For Further study:
Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.
(Ex. 22:29 KJV)
That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.
(Deut. 26:2 KJV)
Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
(Prov. 3:9 KJV)