In the Hebrew, the word Firstfruit (reshiyth) means the first part, the best, chief, choice part (Strongs in blueletterbible.org).
PURPOSE OF THE FIRST FRUIT
The firstfruit offering was to be brought into the house of God (Ex 23: 19). It was intended to provide for the priests since they were not allowed to work outside of the tabernacle. Their work was the care of the sanctuary, the offering up of the sacrifices and other duties assigned in the law:
The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him (Deut 18: 4).
In fact, this offering was so important that God told the Israelites to give only the best and first of the firstfruits for the provision of the priests(Ex 23: 19, 34: 26; Num 18: 12).
If the body of Christ follows the principles of the word (the law being a shadow of things to come), no minister of the gospel should suffer want.
The example of the man from Baalshalisha shows that the firstfruit offering could be given to any minister of the gospel. He brought a firstfruit offering to provide for Prophet Elisha in the time of famine. The famine was so terrible that the sons of the prophets were starving and forced to gather and cook herbs from the field, discovering as well that they had cooked and eaten an unsafe herb (2 Kings 4: 38-42).
WHAT WAS GIVEN AS THE FIRSTFRUIT OFFERING?
This offering consisted of the fruits gathered at each harvest and included wheat (Ex 34: 22), corn (Lev 2: 14), wheat and barley loaves (Lev 23: 17, 2 Kings 4: 42), oil and wine (Num 18: 12), honey (2 Chron 31: 5), any produce from the land (Neh 10: 35).
In today’s world, money is usually considered to be the medium of exchange. However, it is possible that one can explore other kinds of firstfruit offerings based on the needs of the ministry and what the people have to give. For example, someone who is unemployed could give a firstfruit offering of his/her time, skills etc. I do not believe that there is any limit.
The blessing of the firstfruit will be discussed in the upcoming post. Blessings and have a great day.