The Wisdom of First-Fruit Finances
Interestingly enough, one of the earliest chapters in the Bible deals dramatically with our worship of the God who provides everything we have. In Genesis 4, Cain brings to the Lord “some” of the fruit of the ground, while his younger brother Abel brings “of the first-born of the flock and their fat portions” (4:3-4). Cain’s left-over offering is rejected; Abel’s first-and-best is received with blessing.
This week’s proverb (3:9-10) echoes the wisdom of what Abel brought to the Lord. Honor the Lord with your wealth, and from the first-fruits of all you produce. Then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats bursting with wine. Wisdom for first-fruit handling of one’s finances.This week’s TEACHING TRUTH:
Endowed with all things, I first honor the Endower.
From all the tangible resources God gives me, He is honored
by receiving the first and best portion.
Let’s get STARTED – Discuss what gets in the way of handing one’s finances in a “first-fruits” way.
It’s difficult to give the Lord the first and the best because (possible responses):
a) “I have other things I really want…now!”
b) “I’ve made poor, debt-enslaving decisions in the past.”
c) “I have trouble trusting God will supply when I can’t see how.”
d) “I already tithe…when I can.”
e) “emergency needs have drained me."
f) “I’m unclear about what giving to the Lord means.”
Are these excuses…or real reasons?
Let’s Explore in the WORD - Explore what the Bible teaches in both Testaments about honoring the Lord first.
#1 What is “first fruits” giving in the Old Testament? From these verses, how would you explain what God’s OT people were to do?
What do you learn from Cain’s and Abel’s offering? Genesis 4:1-6
What did Abram do after his victory over the local kings? Genesis 14:8-20
What is found about this in the following OT Law passages –
Exodus 23:19 and 34:26; Leviticus 23:9-14 and Numbers 18:11-12; Deuteronomy 26:5-10
How does Proverbs 3:9-10 reinforce what you discovered in these passages? Do you think this is a command for those of us who walk with God today?
#2 What does Jesus, and the New Testament, teach His disciples about giving the first and the best?
Luke 6:38; Act 4:33-37 and 5:1-11; Mark 12:41-44; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 and 2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; 1 Timothy 6:17-19
How does Proverbs 3:9-10 reinforce what you discovered in these passages?
Let’s Prioritize APPLICATION - OK…let’s be courageous and responsive to the Lord. What have these passages taught you as a result of this study? How will you be applying Proverbs 3:9-10 in your life?
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