READ: Leviticus 23:9-16
The Firstfruits Festivities
These particular feasts, that began during the celebrations of Unleavened Bread, revolve around firstfruits. At the beginning of harvest season the Jews were to offer the first fruit of their harvests to God. Fifty days later they again made an offering of their yields to God.
The first opportunity to offer their firstfruits was seen as a chance to give thanks to God for the very fact that they had crops to harvest; the second feast, known to many as its Greek name, Pentecost, was a chance to give thanks for the yields that had been harvested and gathered. Again, these instructed feasts caused the people to take time out of their very busy schedules (especially just as harvesting was beginning) and give credit to God for His provision. To take time to reflect upon how God and been faithful in providing for them in the past, in the present, and for the future.
Someone was recently telling me how they had done the sums on how much they would give to God as an offering and how many hours on their current pay rates that equated to. They were then able to work those hours consciously thinking that they were working them for God. That is such a practical opportunity to take time and reflect upon what God has provided and, if you have walked into work that day, is continuing to provide. In a small way such a practice carries the idea of a feast, a feast like these firstfruit feasts, a time set aside to reflect upon God.
Another culturally current practice that comes close to these ancient firstfruit feasts is that of saying grace before a meal. A practice that can so easily become common place and mundane, yet it also has the opportunity to become a mini feast – a short time to reflect and remember what God provides.
What opportunities do you have to reflect upon God’s provision?
What opportunities could you create that would give you a chance to reflect upon God’s provision?