"A SHEAF OF THE FIRST-FRUITS"

Levit. 23:10

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)



"A sheaf of the first-fruits."–Levit. xxiii. 10.

This was a most interesting service in the Jewish church, and full of gospel mercies; When the Lord appointed" a sheaf of the first-fruits" of their harvest to be brought before him, and waved towards heaven, as a token that all fruits were of the Lord, and that he was both the giver and proprietor of all. And it hath reference to the person of Christ, both in his death and resurrection. For "a lamb of the first year, without blemish," was to be offered as a burnt-offering with it, to testify that the death of Jesus sanctifies and sweetens all; and Christ himself, in his resurrection, is the "first-fruits of them that sleep." My soul! dost thou observe this Jewish service in a gospel dress? Surely, the service is a reasonable service, and, if possible, more heightened now than then. When this law was given, the Israelite had no power to perform it; neither indeed was it intended to be observed, until the people arrived in Canaan. There was neither tilling of land, nor sowing of seed, in the wilderness; for the people were victualled by the immediate bounty of heaven; and we are told, that they ate the manna until that they came to Canaan. But when they were settled in the land which the Lord had promised them, and God gave them "fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness," surely it was meet thus to acknowledge God in his providences, as the providence of God had owned and blessed them. What sayest thou to it, my soul? Here was Jesus in the sheaf of the first-fruits. Here was the Father's blessing, acknowledged in the gift of Jesus. Here was Jesus represented in the lamb, which accompanied the service. Here was the waving it towards heaven, and a prohibition not to eat bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until God's portion had been first offered! Oh! my soul, wilt thou not learn hence, to trace Jesus in every one of thy blessings, and to bless thy God and Father for a sanctified use of every thing in Jesus! Help me, Lord, I pray thee, in my heart, in my house, in the field, in the city, in the church, in the closet, in the world, in the family, to be for ever waving before my God, "the sheaf of the first-fruits" in all his bounties. In Jesus I have all; in Jesus would I enjoy all; and then shall I most assuredly have that sweet promise for ever fulfilling in my heart: "Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine;" Prov. iii. 9, 10.

From THE POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.