The Deep Well with Erin Davis Podcast

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Episode 4: The Feast of Firstfruits

Season:  7 Feasts   Buy

Dree Hogue: Hey, Erin, you and I have known each other for many, many years. One of our favorite topics is gardening. 

Erin Davis: We are plant ladies.

Dree: I’ve sent you multiple pictures of cherry tomatoes and green beans, and you’ve sent me pictures. We’ve helped each other plant and helped each other sew.

Erin: I remember the year you had a bumper crop of sweet potatoes.

Dree: Oh yeah.

Erin: So many sweet potatoes.

Dree: I was proud of that! I probably sent you ten pictures. 

Erin: You probably did. I would have been proud of it too! 

Dree: The feast that we’re about to study is about the first fruits. I know for me that’s a very relevant topic, because I know what it is to have those first cherry tomatoes or those first green beans or those first peppers pop up. 

Erin: Yeah, I mean, you don’t have to be a gardener, I don’t think, to understand that concept of the first fruit. This feast is named that because it came at harvest time.

As much as we love to share gardening pictures in the spring and the fall when we have abundant crops, we don’t so much swap pictures in the winter, when there’s nothing going on back there. 

Dree: Right.

Erin: Does is make you sad when look at your garden in the winter?

Dree: Yeah. It’s just like sticks.

Erin: Right.

Dree: All the fruit is gone, and it’s mushy yuck. 

Erin: Even the fallow ground, that’s a farmer’s term right there . . . The fallow ground means the ground that’s not producing any fruit. I’ve gotta let my ground go fallow, because the spring and fall crops rob it of all its nutrients. 

But even the fallow ground is telling part of the Resurrection story. What I love about this feast is it points us towards that tomb, which can be hard to look at, like our winter gardens can be hard to look at. 

But we know what came after that empty tomb, right? Resurrection morning! Which is so exciting to talk about! This feast points to that resurrection reality, that Resurrection morning so beautifully.

Dree: Well, welcome to The Deep Well with Erin Davis. This is a new podcast produced by Revive Our Hearts. I’m Dree Hogue. 

Here in Season 1, Erin is helping us explore seven feasts as described in Leviticus 23. So far each of the Old Testament feasts has illustrated something really powerful about Jesus, about the gospel . . . and maybe not what you’d expect.

That will definitely happen again in this episode as Erin describes the Feast of Firstfruits. 

We hope that once you study this feast, you’ll get a fresh sense of awe at the empty tomb of Jesus. Our hope is that you’ll be inspired to worship Him with the very best that you have to give. 

Erin’s in Leviticus 23:9–14.

Erin Davis: I can remember one Easter, not too long ago, I collapsed on the couch after a whole day of ham roasting and potato mashing and Easter egg hiding and finding and the level of exertion to get four boys dressed in time for church. 

I laid there, and I surveyed the post holiday state of my home. And what I saw everywhere I looked were those little plastic Easter eggs, cracked open and empty. Of course, all of the goodies had been taken, my boys had long moved on, but I couldn’t help but smile.

Those plastic Easter eggs were telling a story. They were telling the story of Christ’s empty tomb, even more so than when they were full of the treats I packed for my sons. 

Let’s open our Bibles to Leviticus 23. We’ve been looking at the seven feasts given to Israel, and we’re looking for how those feasts recorded way back here in the Old Testament point forward to the gospel. 

Today we’re going to study the Feast of Firstfruits. My hope is that after we look at this Feast together, we will peek into the empty tomb with a fresh sense of awe, and we will respond in worship toward the One who’s worthy of our very best. 

Let me read to us Leviticus 23:9–14:

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest . . .” 

I know we’ve only made it a little ways, but I want to stop right there because you might already be lost. 

A sheaf is just a bundle of grain. So, I want you to picture the people of Israel—many, many thousands of them. They’re carrying these bundles of grain that they’ve just harvested. They are going to bring them as an offering to the Lord.

Picking up in verse 11: 

. . . and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 

So again picture, they’re bringing in these bundles of grain, and then the priest is going to wave that bundle of grain as an offering before the Lord.

And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

So it’s harvest time, and they’re going to bring this grain to the Lord as an offering. There’s some other offerings mentioned there in this description. 

The Feast of Firstfruits is the third of the seven feasts recorded in Leviticus 23. If we are unfamiliar with the Jewish calendar, we might miss some of the nuances of this feast that are very important as we connect the dots between the seven feasts recorded in Leviticus and the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus we see in the Gospels. The timing matters. 

Now, I would never claim to know everything God was doing through the seven feasts, but one of the things that seems that God was doing through the seven feasts was graciously giving His children, the nation of Israel, rhythms for their lives to help them fight against their chronic spiritual amnesia. 

As part of those rhythms that God established, He instituted a weekly Sabbath. Let’s look at Leviticus 23:3, 

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.

A Sabbath is at its essence an invitation to change the pattern. Consider Creation with me for a moment. We see it in Genesis 1. Day 1one God created. Day two God created. Day three God created. Day four God created. Day five God created. Day six God created. Day seven God changed the pattern.

Genesis 1 tells us that on day seven God rested, and He carries that pattern through here in Leviticus 23, inviting His people into that same rhythm. Now, Sabbath features prominently in the seven feasts. More than half of the Feasts include a Sabbath that’s in addition to the weekly Sabbath. 

That probably ought to cause our spiritual antennas to perk up a bit, because it’s obviously something of significance to the Lord. Both the seven feasts and the Sabbath are examples of ways that God invites His people to change the pattern. 

I can think of so many times in my life when through His Word or through His Spirit, God invited me to change the pattern of my life—to look up from my work and to focus on His work; to stop my chronic navel gazing and to gaze at Him instead; to unclench my fists. I tend to walk around in this perpetual state spiritually speaking, and to open my hands for the gifts He wants to give me. 

As we consider that idea of God inviting us to change the pattern, let's head back to the seven feasts. The Jewish week begins on Sunday, which means that their weekly Sabbath was on Saturday. I want you to hold on to that little kernel, as we flip forward in our Bibles to the Gospels and consider the events of Holy Week.

If you’ve been following along with us, or if you’re reading the seven feasts, you may have already made some connections between the first two feasts and the events of Holy Week. 

  • Jesus was crucified on Passover.
  • Jesus was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 

He was crucified on a Friday, and He laid in the tomb shrouded by darkness on Saturday, the Sabbath.

Have you ever paused to ask this question, I don’t think I ever had until I began studying the seven feasts, but when you consider the Resurrection have you ever asked the question, “Why wait?”

Why didn’t God ask Jesus to rise the day after He was killed? Or the moment after He was killed? How about the second that tomb was sealed shut? If the whole thing would have just exploded and Jesus would have walked out as it was still surrounded by guards, that feels like a Hollywood moment to me. But that’s not how it happened. 

In 1 Corinthians 15:4, Paul reminds us that Jesus was raised on the third day in accordance with Scripture. He’s right of course, but since God is the Author of all Scripture, why did He choose to write the story that way?

Jesus had the right to raise on the Sabbath day—He’s King of kings and Lord of lords. You might remember an interaction with the Pharisees when they questioned Him for doing good on the Sabbath, and He informed them that He had the right to do good on the Sabbath and they did too. Certainly, the Resurrection is a good work. 

But during Holy Week, the most important sequence of events since Creation, Jesus’ body rested in the tomb on Sabbath. That brings us back to Leviticus 23. Let me read to us Leviticus 23:11, and this time I’m going to give you a little homework. There’s part of this verse that I want you to underline. Leviticus 23:11: “And he . . .” He’s the priest, remember, picture all of the grain coming in and he’s going to wave that grain in front of the nation of Israel. 

And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted [here’s where I want you to get our pen], on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

Underline that, “On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.”

Maybe even take a moment and draw an arrow there pointing forward, because this part of Scripture, as all of Scripture is, it’s pointing forward to Jesus. If we didn’t have the context of the Gospels, we would miss the timing of that.

God’s Word is masterfully ordered. In Leviticus 23 God outlined His calendar of redemption for the nation of Israel, but He is outlining something bigger, grander, more significant for all of us. I am so excited to read to you from John chapter 20:1, especially as we consider this feast. 

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

I hope you know this story, this is the Resurrection. Mary Magdalene comes, and Jesus has already risen from the dead. Maybe you’re like me. You read that and you just want to get to Jesus. I understand, but let’s pay attention to the details. When did Mary come? She came on the first day of the week, Sunday, the day after Sabbath. 

  • Jesus was crucified on Friday, the Passover. 
  • He was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 
  • He laid in the tomb on Saturday, the Sabbath. 
  • He rose from the dead on Sunday, the Feast of Firstfruits.

Jesus observed the first three Feasts in perfect order as He was crucified, buried, and raised. As we consider this feast in the context of the other seven Feasts, it’s clear to me that it represents a pivot point in a couple of ways. 

Both the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were instituted in Egypt, in the land of slavery.The Feast of Firstfruits was the first of the additional feasts to be celebrated in the Promise Land. 

The tone of this feast is different. The first two feasts are somber, and this feast is pointing towards a truly joyous moment. So yes, the feast points forward to God’s redemptive timeline, but they also have such practical lessons for all of God’s children.

Don’t you love that about Scripture? I mean it’s giving us these giant cosmic truths, and also these practical principles we can apply right now. 

In Egypt, the crops of God’s people, humanly speaking, belong to Pharaoh. The Israelites didn’t get to decide what they did with their crops. But these were now free people, and their lives were their own. God was using the Feast of Firstfruits to teach them a rhythm of giving their lives back to Him, “I give it back to You; I give it back to You; I give it back to You.”

If you’ve ever quit a job that you’ve been in for a long time, or your home was full and now it’s an empty nest, or your calendar was full and for some reason that changed, you know that you need new rhythms. That’s what God was doing for His children here. He was teaching them a rhythm of giving their lives back to Him.

The quality of the Firstfruits offering mattered, because it pointed forward again to a greater offering. Listen to Leviticus 23:10 again, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, ’When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.’” That’s why it’s called the Firstfruits.

Can you imagine as they were picturing life in the Promise Land, as they were dreaming of having their own gardens, and nobody could take it from them, but there was a part of their heart that wanted it for themselves.

I think of my own garden, which I spend many, many months preparing. When that first tomato shows up on the vine, I don’t want to give it to my kids, I want it for me. God was teaching them, bring me the first fruits, give Me the first of what I give you in the land. 

And then 12 and 13: 

And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine [circle that word “fine”] flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin.

How did the children of Israel celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits? By giving God their first and their finest, the first of their crop and the finest of their flour and livestock. All of Scripture opens up when we approach it with this question, “What does this tell me about God?” 

I bet I am not the only one who approaches Scripture by default with a different question, “What does this tell me about me?” If you’re reading about the Feast of Firstfruits asking, “What does this tell me about me?”, you’re going to be confused, because it's not about you. 

But what does it reveal about the heart of God. There’s a passage in the book of Acts that I love and when I apply it here to the Feast of Firstfruits, it helps me understand this better. Let me read to us Acts 17:24–25, 

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

A little bit of sarcasm there, I always like that when it’s in Scripture. Since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything, Scripture is telling us God doesn’t need anything. He made everything, so take that magnifying glass and put it over this feast. God is asking His children to bring Him grain and livestock and wine, and Acts is telling us that God doesn’t need anything. 

God didn’t command the Israelites to bring that to Him because He was hungry. The feasts are about reminding God’s people who He is. Here in Leviticus 23 and preserved for us, God was revealing His heart, not filling His stomach.

In the Feast of Firstfruits, God revealed His heart to give His children His very best. He has given us Jesus, and then Jesus gave us His first fruits, the very best He had to offer, in His death on our behalf. Jesus held nothing back for Himself not even, His very life.

Jesus gave us His very best in His resurrection. He gave us His resurrection power, and His triumph over sin. Jesus gave us His very best in the beautiful promise, that someday we will rise with Him.

This is the gospel, and it’s way back in Leviticus 23. As the nation of Israel began this new ritual, which don’t you know felt as foreign to them at first as it does to us as we read it. They began this annual ritual though of giving God their best.

“We will give You our best, Lord. We will give You our best. We will give our first and our finest, Lord.” And they were telling the story that God gives us His best.

Now, I’m sure that they couldn’t have imagined what that meant. As they considered God giving them His best, they were thinking of the Promised Land. He was going to give them that land flowing with milk and honey. They thought God’s best was good crops and good cows. But God gave us so much more. He gave us His very Son, Jesus. 

This not only changes “how” we live our lives, the how is this, we give God our best. We give Him the best of our time. That means He gets the best of your day. If the way you order your day is that you will give God time when you get to it, you will never give God a nanosecond.

But we order our day so that God gets the best of us. We give God the best of our talent. It’s for Him, it’s for His glory. It’s for the sake of His kingdom, not what’s left over after we give that away to some other lesser cause.

We give God the best of our finances. I don’t know about you, but if my approach towards money is that I will give God what’s left over at the end of the month, there will be nothing to give God. But it comes off the top, because He gets my best. 

It does change the “what”—what we do with our time, what we do with our money, what we do our energy. But I’m less concerned about that, if you’re listening. Because it changes the “why.”

In the Old Testament, God’s people gave their best in order to earn His acceptance. I’m not making that up, it's right there in the text, in verse 11, “and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted.” 

But we live in a New Testament reality. Because of Jesus, and because of the gospel we give Jesus our best, because we’re already accepted. Jesus made a way for us to experience God’s acceptance that requires no grain offerings, no food offerings, no wine offerings, we’ve shifted from to works to worship.

Maybe you’ve heard the old song, I’ll try to sing it, “Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves; we shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves.” Maybe you had no idea what you were singing about. 

Maybe you didn’t know what a sheaf was, and you didn’t have a Bible reference for what you were singing but everybody else singing it. Well, now you do. It comes straight from Leviticus 23. God’s people were coming in rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

They were commanded to bring in the very best of their crops as a first fruits offering. But that song also describes how we can live every day as God’s beloved children. We’re bringing in the sheaves of our time; we’re bringing in the sheaves of our energy; we’re bringing in the sheaves of our families, of our money, of our everything.

If you’ve heard the other sessions of this series, you know that I first taught this in my church. Every woman was given a single stock of grain, and they sat in this passage. They were all over our church campus, and I invited them if they wanted to give God the best of their lives to come in singing and place that on the altar.

So about 200 women (and they didn’t do it all at once) over a period of about thirty minutes I hear, “bringing in the sheaves,” and then somewhere else, “bringing in the sheaves.” Two hundred women saying, “Yes, we want to give you our best.” They weren’t trudging through the song; they were singing it with joy.

They realized that God had given us His best. And you know what days are going to come when we give God the crumbs of our time and energy, our finances. I have days like that, and I crawl into my bed and I just feel sorry that I missed it. I missed the chance to give God my best. 

But when we have those days we don’t wilt. We repent. We believe the gospel, and we ask God to empower us by His Spirit to give Him our first fruits tomorrow.

I want you to think about the Feast of Firstfruits as the backdrop for some of Jesus’ most famous words. They are recorded in Matthew 6:31–33. Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’”

So lock that in your brains, because the second part of this passage you may have heard but what Jesus says next He was saying in response to the crowds anxiousness,

For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The Feast of Firstfruits is about God first living, and God first living is not meant to cause us anxiety. If God first living is causing you anxiety, you’ve missed the most important lesson of the Feast of Firstfruits, that God has already given you His best. 

God first living, seek first the Kingdom. It’s a lifestyle of bringing our first fruits as an offering before the Lord, every day, every year, every hour, I give You my best. And we do it not to be accepted but because we’re grateful that He has given us His best. 

When Jesus rose, Resurrection Sunday, He changed the pattern. He moved us from death to life, from dark to light, and that is the reason we offer Him our best. That gospel hope is our center that makes us come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. 

Let me pray. Jesus we love you. You’re worthy help us to you our very best, amen.

Dree: Well, Erin’s been reminding us why we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. I have no doubt that you will view the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior in fresh way, when you go deeper into these topics.

Erin’s written a Bible Study called the 7 Feasts: Finding Christ in the Sacred Celebrations of the Old Testament. It for sure dives deep into this topic. This study would be perfect as you lead up to the Easter season. 

To get a copy and study these seven Old Testament feasts with Erin, visit ReviveOurHearts.com/TheDeepWell. On each episode of The Deep Well podcast, we bring you a feature called “Erin Unscriptedd” And so, we’re going to dive in to that in reflection of the feast we just learned about, the Feast of the Firstfruits. 

Erin Unscripted

Dree: Erin, I heard this phrase once, and it really stuck with me, because you and I both aren’t very good at rest. You’re a self-proclaimed workaholic, and I can keep pace with you pretty well.

I think probably a lot of women identify with that. I’m not natural at resting. Its uncomfortable; it’s too quiet; it’s not productive.

Erin: It makes me a little twitchy, frankly . . . the idea of just lying on the couch.

Dree: Right. Not my natural inclination . . . ever.

Erin: Me neither.

Dree: You can ask my family; I drive them crazy. I can’t make it through a movie. But the phrase that I heard was that we work from a place of rest. And what that indicated to was, really, soul rest. 

The idea of first fruits is interesting to me because what makes me feel anxious about giving my first fruits has more to do with the fact that I feel like I have to work really hard. But the first fruits actually come from a place of rest, I think. 

Erin: Right. They’re the first fruits on the vine. I mean so, they come up easiest in a lot of ways. If you picture a tomato plant, for example, the first fruits just pop up there, and the bugs don’t get them, necessarily, as quickly, because they’re the first ones on the vine. The heat doesn’t scorch because they come early in the summer. They’re well-tended to because you’re still in the mode to garden.

So they really are the fruit of rest. They’re the fruit of the plant just doing its thing for a while, and then this fruit comes out. The second fruits, third fruits, fourth fruits are a little bit more hard fought for.

Dree: It’s interesting, because my anxiety is like, if I love growing cherry tomatoes, and if I get my first little thing of cherry tomatoes, my kids always want to eat them. I’m like, “Well, let’s cut them and make sure we all get one ‘cause what if we don’t get any more cherry tomatoes?” 

Erin: Right. And then two months later you have every surface of your countertop covered in cherry tomatoes, I’m sure. 

Dree: Yeah, but it’s this unreasonable anxiety that we might not get to enjoy it again. Right? So this Feast of the Firstfruits just reminds me that I don’t have to be anxious; that the Lord is going to provide and prepare those things. But whenever you hit on the Resurrection Sunday, I just pictured myself as a young mom.

My own story is I graduated from college and then pretty instantly became a mom. No one was checking in with me or grading me or anything, and it seemed pretty monotonous. 

And if you were to tell me that I was living in Resurrection Sunday power in those moments and that I needed to give God my first fruits, I probably would have been like, “Uh . . . what exactly do I have to offer You?” So, what would you say to us in our twenties?

Erin: I mean, it’s one thing to picture the Feast of Firstfruits related to tomato plants, but it’s so much more than that. My heart has a harder time if it’s time, the first fruits of my time, giving that to the Lord.

Dree: For sure. 

Erin: I am a worker bee, no doubt about it. So every single day, maybe the Lord will change this in me or maybe He’ll just come back, but every single day I wake up and think I cannot spend time with the Lord because I have a limited number of minutes before my children wake up. Then I have a limited number of minutes before my workday needs to start. Then I have a limited number of minutes before my next meeting. So how in the world could I carve the time for the Lord?

Well, if I give Him the first fruits, the first fruits of my time, the first fruits of my day, then as He promised me, everything else . . . You know, seek first the kingdom God and all these things will be added to you. Butif I think I’m going to give Him the last fruits, I end up giving Him no fruits. 

That’s true with my money, too. If I have this attitude of, “I’m gonna do the budget. I’m going to pay all the bills, and what’s left over, I’m going to give to the kingdom.” Guess what? There’s nothing left over. 

But if I reverse it and say, “I’m going to give to the kingdom first, right off the top. The Lord’s work is the most important work. I’m going to have the discipline of giving Him a portion of my income.” Then all the things really are added unto me. I do have what I need to cover the rest.

I think if I were to sit with twenty-year-old us, I’d just let us know that our math was wrong. You know, that we trying to budget our time, budget our energy, budget our money for the Lord with the leftovers, and there aren’t any leftovers. But if you just reverse that. I say “just” as if it’s easy; it’s not. It’s a daily discipline. But if you flip the order, you really can trust Him to take care of the rest

I’m not sure that twenty-year-old us would have believed that, but I wish a forty-year-old somebody would have told me that. I believe I would have tried to operate that way, and it doesn’t take long for your faith to grow in that. Because if you give the Lord the first of your time, He does order your day. If you do give the Lord the first of your resources, He does order the rest of them.

Dree: I think that there is a rhythm that develops in the first fruits, and that that rhythm is actually, we crave it. It’s in us because our Creator has rhythms, and He put it in us to crave those rhythms. It’s really life-giving once you fall into those rhythms. 

In my life, in different seasons of my life, my rhythms have looked very different. I enjoyed the rhythms that had me waking up at 7 a.m. instead of 5 a.m., but those days are long gone.

Erin: They’re gone.

Dree: So, what would you say as an encouragement about those kinds of rhythms? Share with us personally what your own rhythms are?

Erin: Well, that is one of the things I love about the seven feasts. That was really part of the work the Lord was doing through the seven feasts. He handed them to the Israelites at a point when all their rhythms were gone. You’ve probably experienced this, take a long Christmas break. Say you take a two-week Christmas break, and you think it’s going to be so nice to do nothing. 

About day three, when you don’t know what day it is, and you can’t remember when you showered, you go, “Actually, I need some rhythms in my life. This is very disorienting.” 

Dree: For sure. 

Erin: That was what had happened to the Israelites. They’d been slaves in Egypt, so they were hyper micro-managed, right? They don’t think they had any control over their rhythms, but their lives had a lot of structure. Then they leave Egypt, and they’re in the wilderness. One of the things that was gone from their lives was rhythms.

The Lord gave them this calendar that said, “Actually, these are the rhythms for your year.” It was such a mercy, and so I love that God is a God of rhythm. Creation demonstrates that right from the beginning of Genesis; there’s this rhythm to creation. Then that continues. We look at creation and we see there are patterns. There are ways that the earth revolves around the sun. There are ways that the seasons unfold; there are ways that days unfold.

Every single day, giving us rhythms that frankly we’re so used to them; we don’t pay attention to them. So, I love that; it gives me permission to have rhythms. I’m an early morning girl, and you don’t have to be an early morning girl. I don’t believe that’s a biblical mandate. 

However, there are lots of places in Scripture that talk about waking up and acknowledging the Lord; waking up and giving the Lord your attention. That’s a really important rhythm of my life. I wake up. I fold a load of laundry to help my brain wake up, and then I open my Bible. 

And like I said, if I have the mindset that I’m going to do all these other things first and I’ll open my Bible when those things are done, my Bible stays closed for the day. So, that’s an important rhythm in my life. There are other rhythms—some of them are very spiritual, some of the aren’t. But God’s a God of rhythm, and the feasts have helped me pay attention to the rhythms of my life, the rhythms of creation, and the rhythms of God. I’m grateful for that. 

Dree: Yes, I agree. As I was learning through the Bible study, I was struck with how important rhythms are, and how we were created for that. And really, my mental health is impacted when I’m off rhythm for too long. It’s a good thing for me to fall into the rhythm directed by Him, and to give Him those first fruits.

It just makes me a healthier person all around. Not to mention, it brings Him glory. But it certainly makes me a healthier person. 

The other thing I love about this Feast of Firstfruits was that it was an act of the community. It was like everyone saw what they were giving. I don’t think we to like go and blow a horn and say, “I’m giving this.” But there was a sense of community in it. That’s a little bit of a mystery to us today. But serving or giving to help your community, there is definitely a together part of it. 

Erin: What’s interesting is that that happens a lot more in the non-Christian space that it’s public. People will do an act of generosity or a company will, and they’ll want to broadcast that. We can sort of shrink back away from that, but Hebrews tells us to spur one another on towards righteousness and good deeds.

When we see the giving, it does spur us on. My own church does a Thanksgiving offering every year; we always know it’s coming. We spend months and months talking about it. It’s true that nobody announces churchwide who gave what, but we do in our small groups.

My own small group every year kind of thinks about what can we give, what is each family giving, what can we do as a group to raise some funds. My small group will always tell you this story about when I tried to convince them to flip a house for the offering. But we ended up doing a yard sale, which was a little bit more manageable. 

But we are talking about our giving not in ways of, “Look at me! Look how much I’m going to give.” But in a way of spurring each other on towards righteousness and good deeds. That offering builds every year, and there’s always a Sunday where people bring their offerings forward and put them on the alter.

And it is very Feast of Firstfruits of us, because we’re seeing it happen. Again, you’re not seeing the number on the checks. I weep every year, because kids will bring (I’ll weep telling you about it) their Ziploc bags full of quarters. My boys have had lemonade stands, and they’ll bring that money and lay it on the alter. Others, I’m sure, are bringing checks with many zeros, and I’m grateful for that.

But we’re all just showing each other: This is what it means to give the Lord your best; this is what it looks like. I don’t believe it’s pride-infused. I believe it’s actually humility-infused, because we’re worshiping the Lord together.

I sort of long for that element that we see here in the Feast of Firstfruits where everybody brought their crops in at once.

Dree: Yeah.

Erin: I don’t think they were going, “Oh, look at her. She’s bringing a smaller crop than I am.” I think they were watching it accumulate for the glory of God’s name, and it’s pretty precious. 

Dree: I think everybody had their part, and that was recognized and important. I find rest in that, that it’s not just up to me.

Erin: Right.

Dree: It’s not just up to me, the body of Christ is significant, and we all have a part to play.

The book of Acts tells us that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. But Erin, you say that the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, was active long before that.

Erin: That’s right. That’s what Scripture tells us. And if you’re listening, I’m going to send you on a bit of a scavenger hunt. Turn to the very first page of your Bible and you find the Holy Spirit right there at Creation. He was there, and He was at work.

Dree: Yeah, I’m excited to explore more of that on the next episode of the Deep Well. I hope Erin’s teaching inspires all of us to dig deep into the Bible ourselves, because God’s Word is definitely a deep well. We can drop down your bucket and pull up Truth every single time.

The Deep Well with Erin Davis is a production of Revive Our Hearts, calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

About the Teachers

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.