Wednesday February 12
John started his new job. When he got his first check at the end of the month, he wanted to celebrate by buying my lunch for me. During our meal, he told me that his first paycheck was his “firstfruits.” With a grateful heart, he wanted to give a significant portion of it back to God.
Moses repeatedly reminded the Jews that God was their Deliverer, the Giver of their land, and the Provider of their material blessings (Deuteronomy 26:1,3,7-10). As God blessed them materially, they were reminded to do four things:
First, they were to return to God “some of the first produce from each crop [they harvested]” (v.2). This gift was their personal act of thanksgiving, acknowledging that God was their Provider (vv.3-4). It was also their public act of worship, as they placed the offering on the altar (v.4), “[bowing] to the ground in worship before Him” (v.10).
Second, they were to tell the story of their redemption. They were nobodies, nomads, and slaves. But God made them into a great nation and gave them a land to call their own, a land of plenty (vv.5-9).
Third, they were to celebrate, rejoice, and enjoy the good things God had given to them (v.11). God wanted them to enjoy it all: “Rejoice . . . because the LORD your God has blessed you” (12:7).
Finally, they were to be generous and share their material blessings with the poor (26:12-13). Knowing their selfish hearts (15:11), Moses reminded them to “remember to include the Levites and the foreigners living among you in the celebration” (26:11).
God has given us plenty of things to enjoy, and to share. We also have a story of redemption to tell—proclaiming who our God is, how great and good, gracious and generous He is. —K.T. Sim
And now, O LORD, I have brought you the first portion of the harvest you have given me from the ground (v.10)
Read Deuteronomy 16:10-12 and find out what it means for you to celebrate the Festival of Harvest.
How do you honor God with the firstfruits of your harvest today? What does it mean for you to bring your best to God?