What has God provided for you? How has he taken care of you? How do you recognize or respond to what God provides for you? Today we learn that giving is our response to God. God provides for us and we give from that provision, honouring God first in our lives.
1 When you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, 2 take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the Lord your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name 3 and say to the priest in office at the time, “I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” 4 The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God.
5 Then you shall declare before the Lord your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. 6 But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, subjecting us to harsh labor. 7 Then we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. 8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; 10 and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, Lord, have given me.” Place the basket before the Lord your God and bow down before him.
11 Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.
We see in the reminder of God to worship him with our gifts and offerings, that God gives to us first. God loves us first. In fact, we only love because God first loved us (1John 4:19). And so we see that the first giver was God. The first giver is God. Always. We follow him, we reflect him, yet we don’t show him the way. He shows us the way. Giving is our response to God.
The teaching here is that we are to give firstfruits to the Lord. When a crop was harvested, the firstfruits were the first and best of the harvest. Think about that. Do you give first when you get paid, or do you give what is left at the end of the month? This teaching is that we are to honour God first. With our best. Not with what is left over. God loves us as if we are his only child. He loves us before and above all creation. Not as an afterthought.
The firstfruits are also from “the soil you, Lord, have given me,” (vs. 10). God provides for us and we give from that provision. God promised and provided the land of Israel to his people.
What has he provided for you? It may not be abundant. It may not be lavish. It may be more than you could hope for. Whatever it is, recognize that it comes from God and then declare God’s provision as you give back to him.
Our giving is, therefore, in light of what God has done. We are to always keep God’s care for us at the front of our minds as we give. This was represented in the leading of Israel out of Egypt, in which God heard the cries of his people, rescued them, and then led them into his provision. We see the same for us in God’s rescue of us through Jesus. We live in the provision of God as we follow the Lord Jesus. Consider how else God has provided for you and your family. How can you see God’s hand of giving toward you and how can you declare that back to him.
Rejoice! Finally, as we give back to God, rejoice with the rest of God’s people in what he has done. Don’t keep the stories a secret. As God has provided for us, we have the opportunity to share his works with others. Rejoice in God’s provision!