“When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food, you are to consider the fruit forbidden. It will be forbidden to you for three years; it is not to be eaten. In the fourth year all its fruit must be consecrated as a praise offering to the Lord. But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way its yield will increase for you; I am Yahweh your God” (Leviticus 19:23-25, HCSB).
The prohibition from eating the fruit of a newly planted fruit tree may have had to do with the fact that the fruit of a young tree was not well formed and did not taste good in the early stages of its life.
Since the firstfruits belonged to God (see Numbers 18:12-17), the fruit of the fourth year was consecrated to God as a praise offering to indicate that the Israelites recognized that God was the One who gave them the good things the earth produced and blessed them with increased production.
This Levitical statute demonstrates the model for God’s provision for His people: God’s pattern for supplying His provision and care is by extending or expanding existing resources that are offered totally and willingly to Him.
But, the way we think God provides or should provide for us is akin to finding the goose that laid the golden egg: Just give us more and more of what we already have or think we need–rain down money from heaven!
If we are experiencing financial difficulties, we pray for a miracle to increase our financial resources.
If our home is too small, we pray for a bigger one.
If our car is too old, we pray for a newer one.
If we just had more then everything would be all right! If we just had more then we could better accomplish God’s will.
In God’s economy, the law of supply and demand is not necessarily to give us more and more and more. God’s strategy is to extend or expand the resources we already have to meet our needs as they are offered totally and willingly to the Lord.
This principle of God’s provision is supremely demonstrated in the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Jesus fed over five thousand people with a few loaves of bread and a few fish.
Most importantly, this principle is fundamental to how God actualizes His Kingdom in our daily lives. When you realize that your life in the present is linked to your eternal life with God, then the reality of God’s Kingdom can rule over your life and provide for all your needs.
Then you will recognize that the Kingdom of God is not about getting but giving, not about having more but giving more.
And as you give more and more of what you have and what you are over to the rule and reign of God over your life, then it will yield more and more of God’s provision, care and abundance over your life!
- Examine Yourself – Leviticus 6:18, 7:21 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)