Read Deuteronomy 26
He wanted their whole hearts. Hearts that worshiped Him wholly — with all that they were, with all that they had. In their worship of Him, God would provide for His people. He would give from His abundance, out of His compassion, and He would receive obedient, joyful worship in the form of the sacrifice of His children’s first fruits.
God had been the One to promise the land in the first place. The one who would bring them to this place full of milk and honey. And after 40 years of waiting, His people would conquer the land and move in. They would plant crops and grow produce and find abundance from God’s promise, abundance from His hand.
God knew their propensities, though. He knows the hearts of men. And so, after their very first harvest in that great Land of Promise, God commanded His children to remember Him by giving Him a portion of the very first crops.
He didn’t want their leftovers. He wasn’t interested in their pretend worship. He wanted the cream of the crop, first thing. You know, the part they’d dig up and be most excited to hold in their hands, to hold onto and enjoy.
God knew that His people needed to remember the place from which they’d come, lest they forget and return to their slavery-living and their un-blessed ways. He was pulling for them, providing every chance for them to remember Him and honor Him with their ways. And this offering of the very first fruits from the very first harvest in this Promised Land would be the perfect way for them to show Him their trust, their obedience, their thankfulness, their honor.
We might not have a basket or an altar like the Israelites would have that day of the first fruits offering, but we have many chances to honor the God Who blesses and gives life in similar ways. Our first fruits might look different, and our offering methods might not be the same as theirs but He wants them just the same. They might be the first bit of a bonus for the commission you just got. Or the first ten minutes of my day.
Whatever our first fruit offerings look like, one thing remains true, God wants us to give them so that we remember the only way to live — by His provision alone.