He Who Provided the Harvest

Grace and peace to you.

According to the Jewish calendar, to day is the 25th day of the month of Iyar — also called Ziv. This marks the 40th day since Jesus rose from the grave. The resurrection took place on the day after the first Sabbath following the Passover Feast. This day is known as the Feast of First Fruits — Passover was on Friday, the Sabbath was on Saturday, and the next day was the Feast of First Fruits. On this day, 40 days following the Feast of First Fruits, Jesus was taken up to heaven (Acts 1:1-9).

According to the Ligonier Ministries website: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/firstfruits-and-pentecost/

As its name indicates, the Feast of Firstfruits marked thanksgiving to God for the firstfruits of the harvest — in this case, the grain and cereal harvested in the spring in ancient Palestine. At this festival, the Israelites offered the very first sheaf of the harvest and were not allowed to eat anything from the crop until they gave its initial portion to the Lord (Lev. 23:9–14). This required a great deal of faith on the part of the Israelites, as they would be giving the offering of firstfruits at a time when not much was ready to be harvested. They had to trust God that He would indeed provide the fullness of grain that had yet to come forth, something that from a human perspective was far from certain given the people’s utter dependence on the right amount of rainfall and so forth to give the best crop.

On the day of First Fruits the first sheaf of grain harvested was to be presented to the priest who would then “wave the sheaf before the Lord” ( Lev. 23:11). This was done to give thanks to God, recognizing that it was He who provided the harvest. Therefore, what will we “wave before the Lord” on this day, the Feast of First Fruits? Do you recognize that God has provided the richness of His harvest for you? Let us “wave” our lives before God, recognizing that He has provided all that is needed to feed our bodies and our souls. It is God, and God alone, who provides for His creation –even during our current situation, so let us remember to humbly give thanks to Him.

Jesus tells us that there is a harvest still to come (Matthew 9:37-38; Luke 10:2; John 4:35-36). Just as a farmer gathers the sheaves and brings them to the threshing floor in order to separate the wheat from chaff, so will Jesus separate the righteous from the unrighteous when He returns to “gather in the harvest”. There are people all around us who need to hear the gospel message. Jesus tells us that they are “ripe for the harvest”. Let us be diligent to tell them of our Savior, so when the harvest comes they will be counted with the righteous.

Your servant in Christ

pastor mike