Proverbs 3.9-10 Tues. Day #17

The episode explains how we are to honor the Lord with what He has given us, present and future. In addition, God was requiring the Jews, under the Mosaic Law to give firstfruits and why they were to give it. What does that mean for Christians today?

 

Moments in Proverbs
Proverbs 3: 9-10

 
 
Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;  
 
Honor: Strongs H3513 
Primitive root - to make rich, abounding with, glorify, make very great, and noble.
 
God is asking us to make Him great, glorify the Lord with our possessions - or as it is written in the KJV it uses the word substance instead of possessions.  In other words, anything we call our own, anything that we have as our possession, present and future, we are to honor, make noble and glorify God with what He has given us. 
 
In addition, the Jews, according to the Mosaic Law, were to honor (make great, glorify and make noble) the Lord with the firstfruits of all their increase.  What did it mean for the Jews under the Mosaic Law, and what does it mean for Christians under the New Covenant today?
 
  • During the time of the writing of King Solomon, when this scripture was written, all Jews lived in Israel and were required to attend at least three feast a year that were held in Jerusalem.  They came from the north as far as the Galilean area in the north, and as far south as the Judean desert.  They came from the Mediterrean Sea one one side, and everything to the Jordan River on the other side.  This requirement of attendance was all a part of the Mosaic Law.  The most attended feasts were those held in warmer weather because the traveling was easier.
  • Even in New Testament times, following the exiles of the Assyrians and Babylonians, Jews became scattered all over the civilized world - from Mesopotamia to Egypt, and as far as even Rome and even Spain.  For any Jew who lived in Israel, however, they were required to attend at least three feast a year, but for those living outside of Israel, this was not required of them; however, many Jews took the Mosaic Law very seriously, so extra efforts were made to attend as many feasts as possible.   
The length of time between the Feast of Passover and Pentecost is 50 days, with Passover being in the spring and Pentecost being in the summer.  When the Feast of Passover finished each year, the Jews went back home to plant their crops, with the intentions of bringing the firstfruits of their crops back on Pentecost as an offering to the Lord.  Depending on what their crops were, also depended on whether their fruitfruits were ready to bring back to Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord.
 
  • If their firstfruits were a grain, they would either bring the bundled stalk of grain, or they may even bring loaves of bread that came from the firstfruit of the grain.
  • If their firstfruits were grapes, they would either bring vines of grapes to offer to the Lord, or it would be the fruit of the vine in liquid form that they would then present to the Lord as their offering.  A lot depended on how far they had to travel and the situations they were facing.
  • For those who attended the feast who were not agriculturalists, no firstfruits were required.  In other words, merchants or others in occupation other than in agriculture were not required to bring any firstfruits to the Lord.  Obviously, they had no firstfruits of their harvest to offer to the Lord as an offering.  Never did Jews replace a firstfruit to be something else, including any monetary replacement.  It was only meant for firstfruits of their harvest from the land - and only from the Land of Canaan.

10  So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.

It was believed by the Jews, according to the Mosaic Law, that when you gave the Lord the firstfruits of the labor of your land, God would provide for you so that you would have plenty of grain to supply you for the rest of the year.  If your crops were grapes, then your vats would be filled to overflowing with "new wine."

New Wine
Strongs H8492 - explusion, fresh grape juice (as just squeezed out); by implication (rarely) fermented wine.

Now, how do we as New Testament believers living in the 21st century apply this scripture to our lives today? There are three things that we must remember:  First of all,  most of us are not Jewish who were agriculturists and subject to the Law of Moses.  In addition, all firstfruits had to come from the Land of Canaan because that land was God's gift to His people, and He was requiring them to give back the firstfruits of their harvest in their new land.

Believers in Jesus need to know the proper explanation and history of firstfruits so we don't allegorically put in our own meaning, or simply listen to what others who do not have a full understanding are teaching.  Sadly, there are some believers, including Bible study teachers today who would exchange agricultural requirements of the Jews under the Mosaic Law as firstfruit money for Christians today.  That is not scriptural.  Fortunately, we have Bible study tools to help us go back to the original language to see the correct meanings of certain words, and discover the historical background of certain texts.  In this case, Christians are not bound with the requirement of firstfruits or any other agricultural requirements that was for the Jews under the Mosaic Law that was only meant to be harvest out of the Land of Canaan.  We cannot take this portion of scripture to apply to the lives of believers in Jesus Christ today because it would violate the covenant that God has made with the Church today. 

According to Scripture, any monetary giving to the Lord would only be in the form of offerings.  

God bless you,  we will connect again tomorrow

Pastor Joyce Erickson
believersbibleschool.com

 

 

 

 

Written by Pastor Joyce A. Erickson

Believers Bible School, Founder https://believersbibleschool.com/