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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

First Born Gifts

Exodus 34:18-20

Verse 19  “The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock.”


    After removing His people from Egypt the Israelites became wanderers in the wilderness.  God was working out the details with them about how He wanted them to live in the new land He had promised them.  This festival to commemorate the event of the exodus was something God would continue giving them instruction on during the years in the wilderness.  This desert was their training ground.


    While giving more details to the laws He had given Moses on the mountain, God once again brings up the topic of the Festival of Unleavened Bread.  The detail He decides to give the people during this elaboration of the law is something they were going to need to remember as it would serve as a reminder throughout the year of what He had done in Egypt.


    The wailing heard in Egypt that night had been because of the loss of all the firstborn males.  Both beloved sons, fathers, brothers and grandsons, as well as the firstborn of the livestock had been killed by the God of heaven.  Only those in Goshen who had obeyed by painting the doorposts of their homes with blood of a lamb or kid had been spared their first born son.  Now God was telling them He had saved them for Himself.


    The people of Israel weren’t losing their first born sons to death but to life, a life dedicated to God.  He was helping them see what it meant to put Him first.  Before they could understand what He was wanting to do with them in the Promised Land they needed to know what it meant to have Him as the Lord of their lives.


    First born sons were a treasure to any couple and the thought of having to give them to God may have been a bit of an adjustment to the people.  It wasn’t truly losing their sons but placing them in the Lord’s hands to see what God had for them to do.  While the Egyptians would be reminded with each first born son how God had removed His people from the land, the Israelites could see each first born birth as a reminder of God’s saving work.  A work He would continue doing.


Making It Personal

    What is something God has asked you to give to Him?  How willing were you to give it?  What percentage of yourself do you give to God?


Making It Personal Kids

    What do you think it means to be given to God?  Have you given yourself to Jesus?  What do you think He is wanting to do with you?


Closing Prayer

    Father, we confess we struggle to give much of ourselves to You.  Your asking for their first born sons was more about asking for the throne of their hearts and that is the same You ask of us.  Give us hearts of surrender which desire to give You our all.  In Jesus’ name, amen.


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