Saturday, December 05, 2009

Harvesting the First Fruits

God really does speak to me through the Bible. It's amazing.

I felt called to open His Book last night, and when I did, He told me more about what it means to be in my Third Year of this Marian Promise.

Remember, He has told me through Scripture NINE TIMES in the past few months that, "In the third year, sow and reap. Plant vineyards and eat their fruit."

So here is what I randomly encountered in Deuteronomy Chapter 24 Verse 19-22 last night:

"When you reap the harvest in your field
And overlook a sheaf there,

You shall not go back to get it;

Let it be for the alien, the orphan, or the widow

That the Lord, your God, may bless you

In all your undertakings.

When you knock down the fruit of your olive trees,

You shall not go over the branches a second time;

Let what remains be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow.

When you pick your grapes,

You shall not go over the vineyard a se
cond time;
Let what remains be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow.

For remember that you were once slaves in Egypt;

That is why I command you to observe this rule."

And so I smiled, knowing that He was telling me to be generous toward others with any gifts He bestows upon me in this Third Year, the year of my personal planting and reaping. And then I flipped the page.

And on that page, in Deuteronomy Chapter 26, it said:

"When you come into the land
Which your L
ord, your God, is giving you as a heritage,
And you have occupied it and settled in it,

You shall take some first fruits

Of the various products of the soil

Which you harvest from the land
Which the Lord, your God, gives you,

And, putting them in a basket,

You shall go to the place
which the Lord, your God,
For the dwelling place of His name..."

This, of course, I understand as His church, which delightfully happens to be just across the street from my little house. And after this, the passage spoke about being thankful and offering up these first fruits as a gift to our God. And then it continued with:

"When you have finished setting aside
All the tithes of your produce
In the Third Year, the Year of Tithes,

And you have given them to the alien, the orphan, and the widow...

You shall declare before the Lord, your God:

'Today I acknowledge to the Lord, my God,
That I have indeed come into the land
Which He swore to our fathers He would give us...

He heard [my] cry and saw [my] affliction,
[My] toil and [my] oppression.

He brought [me] out of [this]

With His strong hand and outstretched arm
With terrifying power
With signs and wonders;

And, bringing us into this country,
He gave us this land

Flowing with milk and honey.

Therefore, I have now brought You
The first fruits
of the products of the soil,
Which You, O Lord,
have given me...

Look down from Heaven, Your holy abode,
And bless Your people Israel

and the soil you have given us

in the land flowing with m
ilk and honey
which you promised on oath to our fathers

Wow! Talk about feeling celebratory!

To tithe is to be joyous. This I am, and so tithe I must! Thank you, Jesus, for always showing me the way in this special Third Year!

Oh, how I will miss my Marian Promise when it ends! It has been more exciting than I could have ever imaged it to be!