God brought the Hebrew people out of long years of slavery and oppression and into a land flowing with milk and honey. It was a drastic change for the people. They would clearly remember how God had directly intervened to free them, to protect them, and to deliver this new land into their hands. So when they are asked to bring a portion of their first fruits to God each season, as a way to say thank you, they gratefully follow the instructions.
As we fast forward to today, we in modern cultures have lost the sense of gratitude for God’s direct provision. All that most of us have is not based on the crops and animals that grow. We do not see the dry seeds that spring to life or witness the miracle of birth out in the fields. It can be harder to see God’s hand directly involved in many of the jobs and professions today. Adding to this distancing are society’s messages about hard work and individuality, the paths to success.
In reality though, God is still an active part of everything. If we really dig down deep, it was God who formed each of us in the womb and it has been His hand of guidance and providence that has led us, brought opportunities our way, opened doors for us, gifted us with the talents and skills to succeed, and so on. If we daily acknowledge these things before God, we are much more willing to gratefully follow His instructions on giving.
When we give the first fruits of our labor, we are saying we trust God. To give that part right at the beginning says we trust His blessings and providence to see us through to the end of the month. It is a grateful and trusting act of obedience and faith. It is admitting that all we have is truly His anyway. May our offerings to God reflect our heartfelt appreciation for all of His blessings and providence in our lives.
Scripture reference: Deuteronomy 26: 1-11