“Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the First fruits of the crops you sow in your fields. Celebrate the Feast of In-Gathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the fields.”
We have just celebrated a day of feasting. We call it Thanksgiving. Churches and civic organizations throughout the United States provide great meals for those less fortunate who would not have a wonderful meal on this day. Many people travel long distances to be with family for Thanksgiving. There are times when being with family is not possible, so we choose friends or co-workers to celebrate with. This has happened several times to Myrna and I, but even when we are not able to be with family, we celebrate with thankful hearts and we praise God for His blessings and faithfulness to us.
God commanded the Israelites to celebrate three feasts to commemorate their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Each of these festivals were to last seven days and there were specific instructions concerning what was to be brought as an offering before God. The Feast of Harvest, also called the Feast of Weeks, was to be celebrated by bringing the first fruits of the barley and wheat harvest. Why the first fruits? Because it was always considered the best of the crop. Even today our farmers survey their fields and begin the harvest in the best fields. God wants the best.
In our lives this same principle applies. God wants the very best. He calls us to serve Him with our best effort, talent, strength and love. The songwriter said it so well when he penned the words “Give of your best to the master; Give of the strength of your youth; Throw your soul’s fresh glowing ardor into the battle for truth.” The writer goes on to say “Give Him first place in your heart; Give Him first place in your service; Consecrate every part.”
This song carries through the thought of our Scripture for today. Give the first fruit of your harvest – yourself – to God. This is the only offering that brings complete contentment and blessing from God. During this Advent Season, celebrate with your family, if you are able, and pray that your life, which is your offering, will show forth your desire to give God the very best you have. Give Him your entire life.