Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. How many phrases can you think of that begin with the word “first?” Here are a few to get you started: first dibs, first sight, first blood, first love. Other than just denoting order, what can first also imply?
2. Imagine going to your mailbox and retrieving a stack of overdue bills. How do you decide in what order those bills will be paid?
Read Leviticus 2:14; 23:9, 10.
1. What would be the “sensible” thing to do with the first grain someone harvests? How does giving to God first test one’s faith?
2. Note the mention of first in the Bible’s first account of making sacrifices (Genesis 4:2-5). What are some implications about giving first fruits that we can find in this account?
Read Leviticus 23:11-14.
3. Along with bread, the first fruits offering also includes meat and beverage. Check the footnotes in your Bible or a Bible dictionary to understand how much flour and wine was required. Knowing that the priests dedicate their time to temple service, what do you suppose is the purpose of such a collection of food and drink?
4. Describe the prohibition mentioned in verse 14. How can we keep the spirit of this “lasting ordinance” today, even if we do not earn our living by farming?
Read Leviticus 23:22.
5. Imagine a successful farmer hearing this command for the first time. How might he react? How would you explain this command to him, describing how it presupposes God’s ownership of all we have?
6. The description of this practice is repeated here. It appears first as a part of what is often called the Holiness Code in the book of Leviticus. Review Leviticus 19:1-18. Why should the commands surrounding the explanation of gleaning sound familiar to us? What does the inclusion of caring for the poor among these commands say about the importance God attributes to it?
7. Notice that our text talks about four “bills” that we all need to pay: caring for the needs of oneself and family, caring for others in need, providing for one’s future needs, and supporting God’s work on earth. How would the average person prioritize these bills? How do our priorities change when we trust God with our first fruits?