In our last reading we talked about disputes and God’s resolution for those. Today gets into some laws to protect your property and also laws to help our attitudes and communication. It’s all helpful stuff. He wanted to be sure his people had all they needed for a good start in their new home.
Where there any statements that surprised you? Verse 29 surprised me (as it appears in this particular translation. Perhaps you are reading from your own Bible and not the link above. In any event, verse 29 in the above translation simply reads “You must not hold anything back when you give me offerings from your crops and your wine. You must give me your firstborn sons.”
What immediately struck me was Abraham’s obedience to nearly sacrificing his own son, Isaac, because he thought that would be pleasing to God. So what does this mean, then? Give God our firstborn son? I certainly didn’t do that. I had forgotten the passage from Exodus 13 which speaks of redeeming our firstborn sons.
If we look to the New Testament in Luke 2, we see where Mary and Joseph take baby Jesus to the temple to present him and redeem him. They did this because of what is written in the law. “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord.” It’s a throwback of sorts to when God rescued the people from Israel. He declared at that time every firstborn belongs to him. Today’s passage just confirms that.
We need to be ready to give God our best, our first fruits as a way of showing him how much he means to us. Even though we don’t see animal sacrifice performed in our churches, we still need to give our best to God. Our best efforts and undivided attention. We can often let life distract us. We need to take control of that and make sure God comes first. What do you need to keep your relationship with God growing?
Take time today to be quiet in God’s presence. Ask him what he’d like you to take from this reading.
Let’s pray. Lord, you are good and your mercies endureth forever. There is so much going on right now. I am energized by new beginnings yet wanting to be a good steward with all that I have. Help me in discerning what needs to get pared from my life. I want to offer you my best. Forgive me when I stumble and stop relying on you and your power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.