Do you want to walk in financial abundance? If so, then honoring the Lord with your possessions and with the firstfruits of all your increase is key. But, many people don’t know what a firstfruits offering is.
In this article, we will look at what the Bible says about the firstfruits offering, and how to apply it today!
First, let’s look at the promise associated with giving your firstfruits.
Proverbs 3:9-10 says this:
“Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10 NKJV).
When you honor the Lord with your possessions (like we discussed here, in this Prayer to Get Your House In Order) AND with the firstfruits of all your increase, the Lord will bless you with wealth and abundance. Great promise, right? I know we all want to sign up for that. And the “honor the Lord with your possessions” part is pretty clear.
However, what on earth does it mean to honor Him with the firstfruits of all your increase?
To find out, I studied every passage in the Bible that mentions the firstfruits.
There is some teaching about this in the Body of Christ, but I got a lot of questions about it when we discussed Proverbs 3:9-10 about getting your house in order. So, that tells me we need to teach on this in detail.
So here are some things to know about the firstfruits offering:
It is an annual offering and a time of celebration.
The Lord prescribed that His people bring Him the firstfruits offering every year. It was to be the first part of the harvest: “the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field” (see Exodus 23:16). Exodus 23:19 tells us that it is “the firstfruits of your land.”
Also, the firstfruits offering is to be given “When you come into the land” which the Lord gives to you, “and reap its harvest.” As it says in Leviticus 23:9-10: “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest‘” (Leviticus 23:9-10 NKJV).
Today, that would indicate the first time each year that you reap a harvest, or that the Lord fulfills a promise to you and increases you, bringing you into new land, territory, or blessing.
Next, the firstfruits offering is an offering to the Lord–but a blessing to the priests, too.
When the people brought their firstfruits to the Lord, the priests were supposed to first offer a “memorial portion” to the Lord. After that, the priests were to use the remainder and eat it. It served to support the priesthood.
As it says in Numbers 18:12-13: “All the best of the oil, all the best of the new wine and the grain, their firstfruits which they offer to the Lord, I have given them to you. Whatever first ripe fruit is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it” (Numbers 18:12-13 NKJV).
Thirdly, bringing the firstfruits offering is an act of celebration.
The firstfruits offering is a memorial and a thank offering to the Lord. It is one of the ways the Lord tells us to thank Him for delivering us and for bringing us into our land.
Deuteronomy 26:1-11 says this:
“And it shall be, when you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide.
And you shall go to the one who is priest in those days, and say to him, ‘I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the country which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.’
‘Then the priest shall take the basket out of your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. And you shall answer and say before the Lord your God:
‘My father was a Syrian, about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. But the Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and laid hard bondage on us.
Then we cried out to the Lord God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our oppression. So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, “a land flowing with milk and honey”; and now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O Lord, have given me.’
“Then you shall set it before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God. So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you” (Deuteronomy 26:1-11 NKJV).
This passage shows us that giving the firstfruits offering is an act of love.
It is an offering of joy and gratitude, showing the Lord how grateful we are that He delivered us out of slavery and brought us into a good land. For the Israelites, the Lord delivered them out of physical AND spiritual slavery.
(They had been physical slaves in Egypt, so they got delivered from that. But also, they did not know the Lord or serve Him before. So, they got delivered from spiritual slavery as well.)
For most of us, the Lord has delivered us out of spiritual and emotional/mental slavery.
If you have given your life to Jesus, He saved you from sin. That equals deliverance from spiritual slavery.
But, if the Lord has also delivered you from emotional bondage, addiction, depression, demonization, anxiety, fear, or any toxic relationship or toxic situation, then He has delivered you from emotional, mental, and psychological slavery as well.
Either way, bringing the firstfruits offering to the Lord is a way to celebrate and appreciate what He has done–acknowledging His goodness and thanking Him for His blessings. It’s a way to thank Him for deliverance and celebrate the freedom into which He brought us.
So how does one interpret and apply the teaching about the firstfruits offering in this day when we are no longer bound by the Mosaic Law?
I believe we should still apply the principle of the firstfruits today, but under grace. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, grace is very heart-driven, and actually always leads us to do more than the Law does.
So how do you apply the firstfruits offering under grace?
First: The Lord made it clear that the firstfruits offering was to be given once a year, when you come into your land and receive a harvest for which you have sown. It is to be the first of the first.
The firstfruits offering is “the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field” and “The first of the firstfruits of your land …” (see Exodus 23:14-19 NKJV). In the modern day, this would be the first increase or harvest you receive from the Lord each year.
So, at the beginning of the year, start watching for your first harvest. What increase will the Lord bring you first this year? (Or maybe He has already done so!) Whatever the first increase of the year is–the first harvest you receive–that is where you get your firstfruits offering!
- Perhaps you get a pay raise at the beginning of the year. The difference between your old, lower pay and your new, higher pay–in other words, the amount of your increase–would be considered the firstfruits.
- Or, maybe you launch a new business this year. The first payment you receive from your first customer that pays you would be a firstfruits offering to the Lord; it is the harvest for which you have sown.
- Maybe you even sowed a seed for financial increase, and the Lord sends you a surprise check in the mail. The first financial increase you receive belongs to the Lord; it is your firstfruits offering.
Here’s how I applied this principle this year:
I do some freelance writing on the side for various organizations (mainly when I have something to say that doesn’t fit the topics upon which we focus in this ministry). This year, I received a check in January for some freelance articles I wrote last year.
The check I received wasn’t huge, but it meant a lot to me and I really wanted the money for some things for my family. But, I felt led of the Lord to sow the whole amount–part of it as my standard tithe on that check, and the rest of it as my firstfruits offering.
In my case, this is a stream of income I have had for awhile; but, this particular check was something I worked really hard for and it meant a lot to me, and it was my first increase of the new year. So I sowed it to the Lord, and I am glad I did!
You might also want to give the Lord a firstfruits offering every time He increases you and brings you into new land.
It isn’t required more than once a year in the Law. However, Proverbs 3 says to honor the Lord with the firstfruits of ALL your increase. Celebrating what God has done by giving Him the first of everything is always a good thing to do.
So, whenever the Lord increases you, brings you a new income stream, or brings you into new land or territory, I encourage you to consider giving Him the first of all your new, good harvest!
Related: The Sixfold Blessing of the Tithe
Your firstfruits offering can be anything that is valuable.
In Numbers 18:12-13, the Lord told the priests that people might bring firstfruits offerings of oil, new wine, grain, or “whatever first ripe fruit is in their land.” Remember that the Israelites lived in an agricultural society, so oil and new wine and grain were simply assets. They were alternate cash equivalents.
Today, you would probably interpret the oil, new wine, or grain as simply money, as our society no longer focuses on barter. However, Holy Spirit will lead you. He will call your attention to whatever you should give as your firstfruits offering if you will let Him.
When you bring the Lord your firstfruits offering, thank Him for increasing you.
This is a time to celebrate what He has done and thank Him for it. When you bring your offering, point out to the Lord how faithful He has been to bring you this far. Thank Him for the new land or territory He is giving you. Bless Him for His goodness in prayer and testimony!
Finally, to where should you bring your firstfruits offering?
The firstfruits offering is to be brought to the priests at the house of God. The house of God is where you are fed spiritually, and the offering is to support the work being done there–and the people who do that work.
Beloved, if you will honor the Lord with your possessions and with the firstfruits of all your increase, your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats with new wine.
That’s what Proverbs 3:9-10 says quite clearly, and it’s an amazing promise. Your “barns” and “vats,” in today’s society, would equal your financial wealth. They equal your savings accounts, checking accounts, retirement accounts, business income, and so much more.
God wants to give you great wealth. But, two of the big keys to great wealth are to take care of what God gives you (by getting your house in order) AND by blessing Him with the first of all your increase.
Has Holy Spirit been speaking to you while you read this article?
Has He been showing you what He wants you to bring Him as your firstfruits offering this year, this month, or this week?
If so, don’t hesitate. Anytime you give the Lord that for which He asks, He will always give you something better in return. Honor the Lord with your firstfruits offering today, and see what He does in response to your blessing, heart-offering, love, and obedience!
Was this article helpful to you? Will you become a firstfruits-giver today? If so, leave a comment below!