Summary: In the offering of the first fruits, the Jewish worshiper thanked God for deliverance, acknowledged his dependence on God, and delighted in God’s blessings.
Lessons From The First Fruits Deut. 26:1-11
INTRO.: This week we celebrate an annual Day of Thanksgiving. We observe it in remembrance of the "first" Thanksgiving, which was celebrated at Plymouth colony in 1621 by the first settlers in America. In spite of what historical revisionists tell you, they came to escape religious oppression and establish a nation based on Christian principles.
However, there is strong evidence an earlier Thanksgiving Day was celebrated right here in Texas by Spanish explorers.
Be that as it may, we know from the Bible God required a celebration of thanksgiving ever since the establishment of the Jewish nation. The record is in our text. The Jews were required to celebrate their harvest by giving the first portion to God in recognition of His blessings.
Let’s see what we can learn from the lesson of the first fruits:
I. Here is a lesson on deliverance:
A. The offering of first fruits was made with a declaration. Vv. 5-9
1. The worshiper thanked God for delivering his forefathers from slavery in Egypt.
2. Then for delivering them to the Promised Land.
3. The offering is a gift of gratitude for what God did.
B. Remember the story of the ten lepers: Luke 17:12-19
1. Leprosy was a devastating disease that isolated from society and family.
2. A victim was no longer viewed as human. He was "a leper" in society’s eyes.
3. Jesus delivered these men, not only from disease, but from slavery. The disease dictated where they could go and what they could do.
4. They should have been extremely grateful. Only one was.
C. God has delivered us from slavery many times:
1. He has granted healing in time of sickness.
2. He has delivered us from grief in times of bereavement.
3. Delivered us from poverty by providing jobs and health to earn a living.
4. Most of all, He delivered us from sin and death through Jesus.
5. Don’t forget to thank Him for all the troubles you don’t have. His deliverance.
II. A lesson on dependence:
A. The Jew recognized his dependence on God when he made his offering.
1. "I grew this on the land you have given me."
2. In giving the first fruits, he declared his dependence on God to provide further harvest.
B. An incident in the life of Jesus: Matt. 16:6ff.
1. Disciples were concerned they forgot bread.
2. Jesus said, "Don’t you know you can depend on Me?"
3. He calls upon them to think of higher, more important spiritual matters. V. 8
C. We also need to be reminded we depend on God for all our needs. Matt. 6:25-33
1. Learn to pray "Give us this day our daily bread," and mean it.
2. God would challenge us to think of higher, more important spiritual matters.
3. It’s good to be willing to work for a living, but, remember, in the end it’s God Who makes it possible.
III. A lesson in delight: v. 11
A. God expects us to rejoice. V. 11
1. Think of all the good things the Lord has given you and your family.
2. Ps. 9:1. I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
B. Three parables from Luke 15 show rejoicing in Heaven:
1. V. 6 rejoicing over a lost sheep who is found
2. V. 8 a lost coin that is found.
3. The lost son who returned. 22-24
4. "We had to celebrate." 32. Necessitated by the blessings given.
C. God expects us to rejoice in His goodness every day.
1. He gives us so much to be thankful for.
2. Phil. 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
3. God’s blessings come to us to make us happy. Rejoice in all the good things He sends.
CONC.: When the Jewish worshipers came to offer their first fruit, they came to remember their deliverance, recognize their dependence, and rejoice together because of God’s love and blessings. That’s a good way for us to observe Thanksgiving, whatever else we may do.