What are first fruit offerings? Historically, first fruits referred to literal produce. Juicy pomegranates, hearty barley, sweet dates, and briny olives were some of the crops that the Israelites would take from the first of their harvest and give to God as an offering. Nowadays, first fruit offerings are typically monetary, but they still have great relevance for how we give and build wealth today.
First fruits are different than tithes and offerings. (See Nehemiah 12:44 and 2 Chronicles 31:5.) A tithe is 10% of your income and typically goes to the local church. Offerings are additional gifts that could go to the church, nonprofits or parachurch organizations, a friend in need, or any other number of causes God puts on your heart. First fruit offerings are additional to the tithe and come out of the first of your income, earnings, or random gifts you receive throughout the year. Essentially, first fruits are about giving our best to God, because He gives His best to us.
This blog post will cover:
- How Much are First Fruit Offerings?
- First Fruits in the Old Testament
- How First Fruits Apply to Your Life
- Giving First Fruits and Receiving Blessings
How Much are First Fruit Offerings?
The Bible describes first fruits as a “freewill offering,” which leads many people to believe that they could (and can) discern how much to give between them and God. However, we know that the order is important. As the name indicates, first fruit offerings are meant to be given first. There’s not much trust, nor as much gratitude, involved in giving God your leftovers. There is no percentage mentioned in the Bible for first fruits, though Jewish rabbis have interpreted the text to mean 1/40-1/60th of the harvest, or 1.6-2.5%.
God has often told me to encourage business owners and investors to give a first fruit offering of 1-2% off their gross profits before taxes. (This is different than your tithe, which would be 10% of the income you take for yourself.) Imagine the amount of good that could be done with that money! We don’t build wealth because of how much we can get. We do it because of the difference we can make.