As for the oblation of the first fruits, you shall offer them to the LORD: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet smell.…
cf. Proverbs 3:9; 1 Corinthians 15:23; James 1:18. This arrangement about the firstfruits, though appended to the meat offering, demands a special notice. The meat offering, we have seen, affirms the general principle that our life-work should be dedicated to God. But here in the firstfruits we have a special portion which is to be regarded as too sacred for any but Divine use. This leads us directly to affirm -
I. WHILE GOD HAS A RIGHT TO ALL, HE CLAIMS A SPECIAL RIGHT TO THE FIRSTFRUITS OF ALL OUR INCREASE. The danger is in losing sight of the special claim in asserting the general principle. For instance, we must not deny God a special claim upon the first day of the week, because we acquiesce in the general principle that he has a right to all our time. Again, we must not withhold our tithes, a certain proportion of our substance, through an easy-going statement that he has a right to all our substance. We must condescend to particulars.
II. THE DEDICATION OF THE FIRSTFRUITS EXTENDED TO ANIMALS AS WELL AS TO the VEGETABLE KINGDOM. The dedication of the firstborn of man and beast is manifestly part and parcel of the same principle (Exodus 13:1-16). This leads up to God's right to the Firstborn of the human race, to him of whom the Father said, "I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth" (Psalm 89:27). Jesus is the Firstborn of humanity, the flower and firstfruits of the race. Hence we find the expression used regarding the risen Saviour, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Corinthians 15:23). He is also called "the firstborn from the dead" (Colossians 1:18). Of him, therefore, pre-eminently was the dedication of the firstfruits typical. If God has a right to the firstfruits of the life-work of the human race, he receives in the perfectly holy life of Jesus Christ. So that, as we found the meat offering to this, so do we find this arrangement about the firstfruits.
III. GOD HAS ALSO A RIGHT TO SERVICE, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY NOT BE PERFECT. This seems to be the principle underlying the "oblation of the firstfruits." This, as we from Leviticus 23:15-21, was presented at Pentecost, and consisted of two tenth-flour baked with leaven. Such an arrangement points to the possibility of imperfection in serving God, which was met by the sin offering accompanying it. If, then, the firstfruits at the Passover, presented with oil and frankincense, typified Christ the Firstfruits in all his perfection; the oblation at Pentecost typified believers, Gentiles and Jews, who are trying, though imperfectly, to realize a consecrated life-work. God does not reject the labours of his people, even though they are very far from perfect. He has provided a sin offering to meet the imperfections of the case and render all acceptable to him.
IV. THE DEDICATION OF THE FIRSTFRUITS WAS THE EXPRESSION NOT ONLY OF THANKSGIVING BUT ALSO OF FAITH. God's rights first, even before man's need has been met. It was seeking God's kingdom first, in the assurance that all the needful things shall be added (Matthew 6:33). It is most important that we should always act in this trustful spirit. This faith is, in fact, a kind of firstfruits of the spiritual life which the Lord expect s, and in rendering it to him we experience wondrous comfort and blessing. - R.M.E.
Parallel VersesKJV: As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the LORD: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour.