A Wandering Aramean Meets Mr. Building-Bigger-Barns
Wandering Aramean: That’s quite a pile of grain you have there, Mr. Building-Bigger-Barns!
Mr. Building-Bigger-Barns: Tell me about it. I’m definitely going to have to build bigger barns! Who are you?
WA: I’m just a wandering Aramean, but most people know me as ‘Jacob’.
Mr. BBB: Why do you call yourself a wandering Aramean?
WA: Because that’s what I was when my family first came to Canaan. They didn’t have two nickels to rub together. Now they have so much, here’s what they say when their first fruits are offered: ‘My father was a wandering Aramean.’
Mr. BBB: First what?
WA: First fruits. It’s when you give the best part of your crop to God.
Mr. BBB: That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard! How do you give crops to God?
WA: By sharing them with the people that matter to God – the orphan, the widow and the penniless.
Mr. BBB: If I give my first fruits, I’m scared I won’t make it. If I don’t take care of myself, who will?
WA: How about God who provided the crop in the first place? Do you feel safe because of bigger barns or because of God?
Mr. BBB: It’s nice knowing I’m set for life. What could possibly be wrong with that?
WA: What’s wrong is thinking your bumper crop is because of you. It isn’t. Giving your first fruits is a powerful way to show how you feel safe because of God, not bigger barns.
Mr. BBB: Hold on a second, God is saying something to me…. What’s that, God? TODAY is my last day on earth? But I haven’t even built my bigger barns yet! What’s going to happen to me? This isn’t fair!
WA: I’m sorry to hear such sad news. Are you okay if I follow up with whomever gets possession of your bumper crop? I’d like to introduce myself as a wandering Aramean and remind him that this is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves, but is not rich towards God.