First Fruit

<<first of the season’s crop>>

An OT term meaning giving back to God the first of the produce before partaking for oneself. This was a requirement of the Israelites to honour the Lord’s servants (Deut 18:3-5). Actually, everything is His anyway – we are just returning some with gratitude (Deut 26:1-4,10,11; 1 Chr 29:14).  “Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all

What ‘first fruits’ can I bring to the Lord in gratitude?

your crops, then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine” (Prov 3:9,10).

Tithing (giving to the Lord) is often termed the first fruits – it’s acknowledging man’s dependence on God as well as expressing thankfulness for the benefits received.  The earliest account recorded of bringing an offering to God is of Cain and Abel (Gen 4:3-7). One of the feasts or celebrations of Israel’s annual calendar was based on this principle (Ex 23:16). This was later known as Pentecost.

In the NT the term is used to indicate the Holy Spirit who is within believers is just a foretaste of our eternal salvation (Rom 8:23). It also portrays the early NT Christians who were the first fruit of a vast company of believers who will be in heaven, as well as speaking of Jesus who is the first fruit of those who will rise from the dead (Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 15:20-23; Jas 1:18; Rev 7:9).

See also: feasts, first, fruit, Pentecost, tithing.