"Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You." Psalm 119:38
Text: Exodus 22 : 29-31
From time to time, the Lord would give gentle reminders to His people! With these reminders were extra words of explanation. One such reminder may be found in the following text.
“You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce
and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.
Likewise, you shall do with your oxen and your sheep.
It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you
shall give it to Me.”
1. The Law of the Firstborn
This was one of the first laws that the Lord gave after Israel came out of Egypt!
a) The firstborn belonged to God in a special way!
b) The firstborn owed their very lives to God when He passed over Egypt in judgment!
2. The Firstfruits offering
The idea was extended to cover firstfruits of the harvest!
3. Application of the Law of the Firstborn
a) The sheep and the oxen were covered under this law
They were to be offered to the Lord as an act of worship!
b) Special kindness to firstborn animals
The newborn animals would be helpless the first few days of life. The nursing animal would, out of instinct, want to nurture its young! A week of nursing was provided for. This provision displays even more the graciousness of God!
A HOLY NATION
What was God looking for as He gave these laws to the children of Israel? The answer may be found in the following text.
“And you shall be holy men to Me…”
1. Personal Holiness
This was the goal that God desired for Israel! These laws, if they were understood and kept faithfully, would help them to become a truly holy nation!
2. A reflection of God’s own holiness
The holiness that God desired was reflective of His own personal holiness!
Holiness was not just an invisible quality. It was meant to be expressed visibly. Holiness was to be reflected even in the matter of partaking food!
“You shall not eat meat torn by beasts in the field
you shall throw it to the dogs.”