Offering First Fruits
26 “Then it shall be, when you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it and live in it, 2 that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground which you bring in from your land that the Lord your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His name. 3 You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare this day to the Lord [a]my God that I have entered the land which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.’ 4 Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. 5 You shall answer and say before the Lord your God, ‘My father was a [b]wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and [c]sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation. 6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us. 7 Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression; 8 and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror and with signs and wonders; 9 and He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O Lord have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God; 11 and you and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given you and your household.
12 “When you have finished [d]paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the [e]orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your [f]towns and be satisfied.13 You shall say before the Lord your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the [g]orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments. 14 I have not eaten of it [h]while mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor offered any of it to the dead. I have listened to the voice of the Lord my God; I have done according to all that You have commanded me. 15 Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel, and the ground which You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.’
16 “This day the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have today declared the Lord to be your God, and [i]that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice. 18 The Lord has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and [j]that you should keep all His commandments; 19 and [k]that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the Lord your God, as He has spoken.”
There is something that changes our mindset when we give our first fruits to God, rather than giving out of “what we have left”. When we give to Him first, we find that we can make it on what is left, often with some leftover.
But there is another verse that gives an important perspective, “I have brought the first of the produce…which You, oh Lord have given me.” Everything we have, every breath we breathe, the ground we walk on, the shelters we take refuge in, whether large houses or small shacks, are from Him.
Nothing in this universe would exist without Him, and nothing comes to us except that which He created. Thus it is our honor to bring an offering of our first fruit back to Him, in recognition as the source of all we have and all we are.