Proverbs 3:9-10 is a study in giving and receiving; verse 9 covers the giving, and 10 the getting. In a previous post, I learned that a part of being wise is the consideration of getting what you give, of reaping what you sew, and it seems to me that verses 9-10 are a confirmation of this. So we begin with the contemplation of the notion of fruits, first fruits to be specific.
These verses are closely linked with the concept of tithing, of giving of one’s prosperity, one’s wealth. Verse 9 states:” Honor the Lord with thy substance, and give him of the first of all thy fruits:” What exactly are first fruits? Are they the very first red, ripe and juicy tomatoes we pick from the vine, are they the payment we receive for our daily labors, or are they more esoteric concepts? It occurs to me that the idea applies to so much more than just money, and I would argue that our “first fruits” are all of the above. The word substance implies your talents, your time, your knowledge, your love, and If we truly believe that all things come from God, that we are merely the stewards of his gifts, and if we are to honor God with the best part of our riches, then without doubt these things are meant to be given too. Surely we are meant to be generous with all that we are given.
Verse 10 states: “And thy barns shall be filled with abundance, and thy presses shall run over with wine.” So, the concept of paying it forward comes from God. If we want our lives to be filled to overflowing, then we must first share what we have been given. We must give joyously and willingly in the full knowledge and trust that God will bless us greatly for our efforts.