Pearl of Wisdom:
“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.”
TODAY’S PEARL OF WISDOM ABOUT FIRSTFRUITS AND HARVESTS is perfectly timed. The high Jewish holidays are now drawing to a close and this week is the Feast of Tabernacles, a harvest holiday marked by both celebration and great sacrifices. In addition to feasts and sacrifices, the Jewish people are commanded to build and dwell in temporary structures intended to remind them of the 40 years in the wilderness, surviving on nothing more and nothing less than the Grace of God.
This holiday is a picture of our utter inability to meet our own needs covered over by God’s total ability to provide abundantly. Sacrifice in this context is simply our acknowledgement of this truth.
Do we believe everything we have is a gift from God, or rather the fruit of our labor alone? Do we believe God’s promise to provide for our every need or do we secretly fear God’s promises are just a metaphor or maybe meant for someone else?
With the command to give, God puts forth a mighty promise:
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
– Malachi 3:10
The full tithe that God commands is no less than a tenth of our wages. This is the standard Biblical measure mentioned many times throughout Scripture, spanning wisdom and prophesy over thousands of years. But it is not just the amount that counts but the timing of when we bring it.
God wants the firstfruits.
Yet, even when we acknowledge the need to tithe, we are tempted to meet our financial needs first, then consider giving God some of what remains. But this puts God in the position of poverty. Jewish law dictated that Jews not harvest all the way to the edges of their crops, leaving grain behind for the poor to glean. And isn’t this the position we put God in when we give to him from the leftovers? This is not honor.
God doesn’t need our money. What He wants is our heart. But where and when we give our money reveals our heart to Him.
Insight to Action
Christians do not live by Jewish law. When we place our faith in Christ he abides in us and is our Constant Counselor, helping us to more than fulfill the law for He turns our hearts as well as our hands to the will of God. We are simply to search God’s Word, then search our hearts and prayerfully consider our actions. I say “simply” but sometimes it seems having a law to follow certainly sounds more simple.
There is wisdom in having a system; a pre-meditated approach to following God’s guidelines. It is worth thinking through your personal approach to giving to make sure it honors God.
I urge you to give your first fruits with abandon and watch as God pours blessings into your life. What will your plan of giving be? Have you been holding back? Determine to give today and act on your commitment with a sense of urgency. Then wait and watch as God’s divine economy turns in your favor.
Do you have a story of a time you gave and God blessed you? Share it with a reply.