God established a principle in His Word for blessing and increase for his people and that was the giving of ‘firstfruits’. Today we often do not understand this principle and hence fail to get the full increase that God has promised. Firstfruits are the first and best portion that is set aside and given to the Lord as a sign that the remaining harvest, yet to come, is holy and blessed of the Lord. Firstfruits are a sacrificial faith offering of the first and best fruit of any increase given by the Lord.
I Promises a Future Harvest
i) Foretaste if what was to come: All males were to appear in Jerusalem 3 times a year. These represented the 1) Barley harvest at Passover, 2) Wheat Harvest at Pentecost & 3) Fruit Harvest at Tabernacles. Each time there was an offering of the firstfruits: barley sheaf, wheat loaves & firstfruits (Deu 26:2)
ii) Israel a firstfruit of nations: Jer 2:3, Israel was this first nation chosen by God to represent the firstfruit of the harvest of nations to come.
iii) Firstborn is a type of firstfruit: Because of Passover all firstborn males belonged to the Lord (Num 3:13).
iv) Believers are firstfruits of harvest of souls: Jam 1:18, we are the first of a new creation –a world set free from bondage and decay and brought into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
v) Jesus is the firstfruit from the grave: Col 1:18, He was the firstfruit sheaf waved on the day after the Sabbath (Lev 23:11). He is the firstfruit from the grave.
II Sanctifies the Rest of the Harvest
i) Firstfruit is different from tithe: Tithe is calculated after the harvest when all the increase has come in. Firstfruit is from what comes in the beginning. Giving it is a sacrifice in faith for the coming harvest.
ii) Firstfruit represents a part of a whole: If a part is holy then the whole bunch is holy! Num 15:17-21. Paul commenting on this passage says that if the lump is holy then the whole batch is holy (Rom 11:6)
iii) Believing spouse sanctifies the family: 1Co 7:14, does that mean that the unbelievers will be automatically saved? No! But that God has earmarked them for special treatment because of His presence in and through the believer. They are set apart for salvation dependent on their correct freewill response.
III Needs to be Practiced Today
i) In the area of increase: Whenever you experience a new source of blessing offer a firstfruits offering. Thank God for the harvest to follow. Thank God that the rest of your harvest is rendered holy by the firstfruits being holy
ii) Recognize the special grace on unbelieving family: Confess that and pray for right response to this special grace of sanctification.
iii) Recognize your influence in your community : You are sanctifying your community, office, etc. You are salt and light. For the right number of believer God would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.
iv) Pray for Israel : As God’s firstfruits of the nation we are seeing a harvest of the nations. Their rejection has been reconciliation of the world and their acceptance will be life from the dead (Rom 11:15).
o This is the year of increase let us expect it in
i. Unsaved family coming to the Lord
ii. Souls & Cells
o Let us decide to offer the Firstfruits