Before supermarkets imported apples from New Zealand and grain from Kansas the harvest produced tremendous joy. To taste a crisp apple right off the tree or bake bread with grain fresh from the threshing floor led to harvest festivals and feasting. Yet, the faithful Levitical farmer waited to experience tasty harvest delights. Leviticus 23:9-14 calls the farmer to make an offering of First Fruits to God before feasting on the newly harvested produce.
When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. The priest is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf… On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice an offering to the Lord….You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring the tithe to your God. Leviticus 23:9-14 NIV.
A farmer once told me that “Farming demonstrates great faith” Putting dry old seeds into cold spring ground and trusting that God will supply spring rain and summer sun to produce enough to feed one’s family and these days another 155 people takes faith. With our supermarkets touting beef from Argentina, we can easily lose the unfiltered gratitude of the harvest.
There are only two responses to life: gratitude and consumption. We either thank God for our: harvests, heartbeats, pumpkins, paychecks, laughter, love, doctors, donuts, coffee, cars, thermostats, trees, sunsets, streams, eagles and everything else or we treat life as a commodity. Our tithes and offerings express gratitude to the Creator, Sustainer, and Savior of all life. May we focus in and live in gratitude, by giving our first fruits to God.
Grace and Peace