"Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops" -Proverbs 3:9 

"We promise to bring the first part of every harvest to the Lord's Temple year after year- whether it be a crop from the soil or our fruit trees... We will present them to the priests who minister in the Temple of our God." (Nehemiah 10:35ff) 

The practice of dedicating the first part of our yields to God is not of this day and time. It dates way back as far as 2000 years old. The Bible records stretching from Genesis through Exodus, to the New Testament may indicate the period further than 2000 years ago to the times of Adam, Eva and their sons; Cain and Abel. The time of  Abram, before becoming Abraham,  to the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ all offer detailed facts with finality! 

The practice of dedicating the first fruit of our yields is also part of the mosaic covenant as indicated in the book of Genesis 14: 28, Hebrews 7:1, Mathew 23:23, Ezekiel 44:30. The practice was also affirmed and upheld by Jesus Christ.  

The people of Israel needed to learn the importance of dedicating the first part of their yield to God. Therefore, Nehemiah was not instituting this practice, he was simply reinstating this practice as indicated originating from the early days of the nation.  

To date, the practice of dedicating to God the first part of our fruits, time, talent, and treasures, remains relevant. An intriguing question for us today is: Do you give God your first and best or merely what is left over? 

According to God's law, the people were to give a tenth of their produce to the Temple for the support of those who cared for the Temple and religious observances known as the Levites. The literal meaning of this practice is that it was meant to ensure the support of the house of God and the servants thereto. 

As we grapple with the wide misconceptions and contradictions of the subject of giving the first fruit, we must not overlook the straight responsibility of looking after the house of God and the servants in different capacities.  

Let us not accept to be taken by our selfish culture of finding in everything a point of convenience and how we profit when we take on the responsibility of looking after God's kingdom. As a thumb rule, let us put God first and this can be exemplified by dedicating the first part of our yields to Him. 

Prayer Today: Creator, the Lion of Judah, always help me to listen to you attentively before I offer you back the fruits of my labor from your garden. I offer you thanks for the gifts, the first and best of what I have, and all that you have entrusted with me. I am just a steward. Help me always never to forget the origin and source of my fruits. May the fruits you have given me nourish me and others around me. Make all who see and partake of them marvel at their beauty and usefulness. Continue blessing the works of my hands that you use to work out and grow fruits in your vineyard. In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.  

Albert Collins Kyeyune