During the time the bible was written there were basically three harvests. The spring wheat and barley harvest. The summer grape harvest and the fall olive harvest. Barley is a staple of the Hebrew. It is planted in the fall along with wheat. It is ready before the wheat and was the grain used to make the Passover bread. In the bible it is used as a symbol of the firstfruits.
Leviticus 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover.
Remember Christ became our Passover when he became the Lamb slain.
Leviticus 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
Seven is spiritual completeness.
Leviticus 23:7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 8: But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 9: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 10: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
Barley is the only thing ready this time of the year. Wheat is ready later for the Feast of Weeks or Passover. Thus barley is the firstfruit.
Leviticus 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12: And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.
God didn’t want our burnt offerings he wanted our love. Most everyone understands that the lamb is a symbol for Christ, but what is this sheaf they are waving around? That is the barley, the firstfruits. So why are they waving it around? God certainly didn’t need them to do that, but he told them to do that so why? I will answer by asking you who were the disciples? Were they not the firstfruits? Was not Peter the one that lead the church on Pentecost day and the church multiplied exponentially?
OK let’s back up and I can show you something.
Judges 7:7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.
God has just eliminated all the people that were fearful and all the people who didn’t draw the water up to their mouth to drink and we are left with these 300
Judges 7:8 So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.
Did you notice this is taking place in a valley? Just to give you a heads up, this whole battle is an ensample of the battle of Armageddon so perk up.
Judges 7:9 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. 10: But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: 11: And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.
It’s clear that God doesn’t count fear to be a sin. It’s natural to feel fear it’s when you fail to act because of your fear that you get into trouble.
Judges 7:12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.
Does this gathering sound familiar to you?
Judges 7:13 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. 14: And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.
And this is why we came here. God wanted Gideon to hear this dream because he wanted it known what barley meant to him and it certainly isn’t all of Israel
Judges 7:15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.
Don’t read over the fact that Gideon stopped to worship God.
Judges 7:16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
Normally you hold your lamp up and let the light shine, but these are covered up.
Judges 7:17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. 18: When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. 19: So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. 20: And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
This sudden surprise of trumpets and light no doubt caused panic. At the battle of Armageddon, Satan will think he has won. The two witnesses will be dead. ****enemy in the street come on guys where is that scripture when you have to keep silent when the enemy passes by??***
Judges 7:21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
When Christ returns they will be praying for the rocks to fall on them.
Judges 7:22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath. 23: And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites. 24 : And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.
Do you see how all of Israel followed? It starts with the firstfruits. I know your saying to yourself, “but that’s old testament.” OK then I know your asking yourself if there is any of this firstfruit and barley stuff in the new testament. Do you remember when Christ fed the multitude with loaves and fish?
John 6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
Oh hey there is barley here and if we were to look earlier in this chapter it is Passover time. Remember five is the number of grace.
John 6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11: And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
Here is the key. Christ didn’t hand out the food. He gave it to the disciples, who are the firstfruits, and they gave it to the people. They are the ones that wave the barley sheaf about. Don’t get me wrong. This bread is also the body of Christ, but what does that mean? Christ is the light inside us and it is the firstfruits who already have that light and it is they who God expects to pass it out to everyone else.
Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Once you partake of that body you become part of that body.
John 6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13: Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
So we started with five, or grace, and after it was distributed we have twelve baskets. Does twelve ring a bell? It should remind you of the twelve tribes. God always has his firstfruits, but what does that mean for the rest of us? Let’s close with the beginning of the Lord of the Field parable:
Matthew 20:1-9 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2: And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3: And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4: And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5: Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6: And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7: They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8: So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9: And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
Do you see how it doesn’t matter when you get into the field and start working the pay is the same. We all receive eternal life.