“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Thoughts on Stewardship – Lesson 27 from Deuteronomy
Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 15 verse 19-21
Offering of the Firstlings
All the firstling males that are born of your herd and flock you shall set apart for the Lord your God; you shall do no work with the firstling of your herd, nor shear the firstling of your flock. 20 You shall eat it before the Lord your God annually in the place [for worship] which the Lord shall choose, you and your household. 21 But if it has any blemish, if it is lame, blind, or has any bad blemish whatsoever, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 15:19-21 AMP
1. It is very important to God that His people set aside and bring the firstling of their flocks and herds to Him
a. They had to be firstlings – the firstborn of the flock
b. It took faith to bring the firstling – you had to believe that there would be a “secondling”, a “thirdling”,
and a “fourthling”, etc.
c. This firstling was to be set aside ahead of time and then brought to the place of worship
d. It was sacrificed to the Lord at the place of worship and then eaten in His presence
e. The firstling could not be lame or blind – it had to have no blemish or imperfection whatsoever
f. It would need to be carefully inspected
g. If something is inspected, it means that it has to be considered and carefully looked at – with much
contemplation and thought – rather than something brought haphazardly or as a mere afterthought
2. Even though this command was given under the Old Covenant, why would we – under the New – assume that we are free to dishonor God by giving to Him any other way?
a. Maybe we don’t raise animals – but we do earn a living – we must bring the Lord the “firstling” – right
off the top
b. We honor God by putting Him first, rather than last in our priorities
c. We should set aside our offering with much thought, contemplation and inspection – and then bring it to
His house as an act of worship – to honor Him for His goodness, His mercy, His grace, His loving
kindness, and all of His bountiful blessings
d. If we really respect a person – a man or woman – and we really want to bless them, we will do
something to honor them, such as bringing a gift that reflects our gratitude and appreciation
e. It is extremely appropriate – and in some cases, expected – that you bring a gift when you are meeting
someone very important
f. Your gift sends a message. For instance, we give gifts to our husband, wife, family, or friends, on
birthdays, or anniversaries, or other special occasions, that reflect how much we think of them
g. They would be offended if we forgot to bring something or if we gave an inferior gift
h. What about our Heavenly Father? Is He not more important – is He not more precious to us – than any
mortal man? We expect His generous, abundant, timely blessings on us and so we should also honor
Him in kind
Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
Isaiah 43:22-25 AMP says, “You have not called upon Me [much less toiled for Me], O Jacob; but you have been weary of Me, O Israel! You have not brought Me your sheep and goats for burnt offerings, or honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not required you to serve with an offering or treated you as a slave by demanding tribute or wearied you with offering incense. You have not bought Me sweet cane with money, or satiated Me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have only burdened Me with your sins; you have wearied Me with your iniquities. I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
Is this you? Have you taken advantage of God’s grace and generosity? Have you offered God nothing but your sins and iniquities? Have you done nothing but burden Him and weary Him? If so, it’s time for a change. It’s time to make up your mind to start to please God and bless Him with your obedience and your blemish-free firstlings!
Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
Everything we have comes from God. Nothing we have comes from ourselves. He loves us – we love Him. He blesses us – we bless Him. It amazes me how many people expect the blessing of the Lord in their lives and yet the Kingdom of God is neither their priority nor their concern. When we make the Kingdom of God our priority – when we put God’s house first and bless and honor Him – then He will bless and honor us. Let’s honor God by bringing our first and our best – not the last or the lame or the blind.
Prayer and Confession:
Father, I honor You with my firstlings and I honor You with the best that I have. I will obey You and bless You, because everything I have is Yours.