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The Old Testament by Pastor Melissa Scott

Q. If we were to look to the Old Testament for examples of firstfruits, what would they be?

A. Well, let me pick a very shocking one first. When the Israelites came out of the wilderness into the Promised Land, it may seem strange that when they took the first city (which was in essence taking possession of the land), Jericho, they were not allowed to keep even one piece of silver or one garment. Everything in that city belonged to the Lord, because that was the first victory, the first taking of a city that was the first of any that they were to take in obtaining the promise of Canaan, and not one shred of anything was allowed to be kept by the people, because this city was the firstfruits. It all belonged to the Lord.

The great sin of Achan was that he decided he could keep a few little trifling items and hide them in his tent. He paid with his life, the life of his family, and the entire camp suffered. There is no more drastic portrayal of God’s sensitivity to the firstfruits belonging to Him than that example. Our response to that recognition is a response of honesty in relationship to God. We do not steal what belongs to the Lord. We receive His blessings on what He lets us keep, which also belongs to the Lord. Now Noah, the minute that they came out of the Ark provided an offering from the first fruit of his vineyard. The firstfruits every year were to be brought and when the crops were harvested, the firstfruits were to be brought to the Lord and given to the Lord.

There was the added benefit promise that an angel would go before them the rest of the year to protect and look out for them and if they didn’t give the firstfruits, the angel would be their enemy. (Exodus 23:20–21) That’s really either the icing on the cake or a terror to those that disobey. The simple, honest understanding is the tithe is the Lord’s and the firstfruits belong to the Lord. The first of anything that we have: the first week of the year or the first profit from a new venture. Firstfruits are not any more complicated than Tithe. The word ‘tithe’ means ten percent. ‘Firstfruits’ means the first of anything that you get. If you buy a lottery ticket and win the lottery on the first ticket, it’s the Lord’s.

Posted in Pastor Melissa Scott.