Summary: First Fruits represents a commitment by God to us and by us to Him. He is committed to work out His will, and we are to be committed to serve Him.
First Fruits (HaBikkurim)
1. “Kokomo is known as the "City of Firsts," a civic claim made by other towns, though likely not with the conviction of this mid-Indiana hub of innovation. For the record, Kokomo boasts it is the birthplace of the FIRST push-button car radio, the FIRST Dirilyte golden-hued tableware, and the FIRST aerial bomb with fins. Other Kokomo firsts include the pneumatic rubber tire, the carburetor, the mechanical corn picker, and canned tomato juice. The Elwood Haynes Museum celebrates the inventor of stainless steel, once a Kokomo resident.
“So it should be no surprise Kokomo is the FIRST city to turn a giant sycamore tree stump into a monument and encase it in glass. In fact, it’s the World’s Largest Sycamore Stump, 57 feet in circumference and 12 feet high.” http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/INKOKstump.html
2. But being the first doesn’t necessarily mean the first ever. We speak of the first day of the month….it’s happened before…
3. We enjoy the first tomato off of our plants, and, although we are willing to share tomatoes later in the season, we are stingy with that first one.
4. So if we give our first to God, that means we give our most cherised.
Main idea: First Fruits represents a commitment by God to us and by us to Him. He is committed to work out His will, and we are to be committed to serve Him.
I. First Fruits CELEBRATED
1. Tagging and offering the first BARLEY sheaf
2. The SUNDAY after Passover
3. During the Feast of MATZO
4. A GRAIN offering and a BURNT offering
“When you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the LORD your God is giving you and put them in a basket.
“Then go to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name
and say to the priest in office at the time, ‘I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the land the LORD swore to our forefathers to give us.’
“The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the LORD your God. Then you shall declare before the LORD your God:
"’My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, putting us to hard labor. Then we cried out to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression.
“’So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, O LORD, have given me.’" Place the basket before the LORD your God and bow down before him.
“And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household.”
First Fruits represents a commitment by God to us and by us to Him. He is committed to work out His will, and we are to be committed to serve Him.
II. God is the PRIORITY
1. Proverbs 3:5-10 sets the TONE
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
“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.”
• In OT, God was to be given first 10% of our finances…and many Christians today TITHE as a sort of first fruits offering…
• Malachi 3:8, “ Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, ’How do we rob you?’ "In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”