2020-05-13 - First Fruits
A couple days ago, despite the odd temperatures and erratic precipitation, we received our first harvest of radishes. Well, I suppose it would be more accurate to say, "I received the first harvest," since I alone eat them in our house. Radishes are certainly not the most popularly consumed crop among the vegetables-most often found up high in the market’s produce section, just out of reach. The root skin color varies from pink, red, purple, yellow and green, to even black with white flesh, and half the time is trimmed, bagged and placed along the bottom row, away from the beautiful foods in grocery stores. These little genus Brassica (Brassica-Wikipedia) plants in the mustard family that also includes broccoli, cabbage, turnips, and rutabagas, are fresh and crunchy additions to a salad or even an accent to casserole dishes. And following their seeds giving up the ghost to a seedling plant, there is less than a month-long wait to savor them all over again, or even grate some into a recipe for homemade horseradish sauce-having a similar texture and flavor. This brought to my mind the many crops intended for presentation at the Feast of the Harvest in the book of Genesis (23:16)-first fruits of our labor; offering to God.
God formed us with his will, and the word of truth as a kind of first fruit of his created creatures (James 1:18) Think about that a minute. We descend from the first fruits of the humans in creation. He taught his people about it through crop harvest, so we would all understand that we are as important to him as what he gives us-more so, really (Leviticus 23:10). God sent his son to us so we may return to him eternally-should we make that choice. Like the seed that changes into a seedling, Jesus’ transformation from a fleshly to an eternal body is demonstrated to us so we can see how God wants to bring us to himself permanently (Philippians 3:20-21). If we believe that - and I do - then we come to understand that our life is hidden in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection - just as that tiny seed dies unto itself and finds life anew in the seedling that grows into a beautiful new life form (Colossians 3:1-3).
I cannot think, for the life of me, how anyone can discover how connected we are to the one who made us and still imagine there is any long-term benefit from living as though it is all our own. And yet we are not required to acknowledge it. Have you acknowledged it, what God wants for you? He wants each of us to discover it for ourselves and choose Him. That is how we are different than the crop seeds who have no choice but to transform when their life change begins. When my heart was changed so many years ago, the spirit became part of my inner being. and I was never able to see anything the same. I began to live with a hope that I often did not - and still do not understand, but longed to get closer to understanding. My joy comes from doing whatever possible to fulfill God’s will in my own way (Romans 12:1-3). I am grateful God allowed me to be grafted into his first fruits.
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.