Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February 2, 2017

"The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male.The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.” Exodus 13:1-2

“After the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your ancestors, 12 you are to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord. 13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons." Exodus 13:11-13

You may find it interesting to know that the first thing God instructed His people on immediately after leading them to freedom from the bondage of Egypt was about the priority of the first things!

This is the "story behind the story" of the tithe. If you can wrap your heart and mind around this is will change how you look at tithing and just about everything else you do.

God wants to establish that everything belongs to Him first. So what better way to do that than to demand the firstborn or the first-fruits be given to Him.

He had dramatically demonstrated that through the Passover when all the firstborn sons were killed by the death angel if there was no blood on the door post. It was the blood of a slain lamb that redeemed the lives of many firstborn among the Hebrews.

By the way, God's final plague of taking all the first born sons of the Egyptians was a judgment for Pharaoh murdering all the first born males of the Hebrew slaves. Because the Pharaoh took what was rightfully God's, God had to take back the firstborn of the Egyptians. God was taking what was rightfully His!

I want you to notice something very significant about God's command. He said the firstborn male from every clean animal was to be sacrificed to the Lord! It was His!

I also want you to notice that when the firstborn was offered as a sacrifice to God it redeemed the rest of the flock. And if you refused to sacrifice the firstborn it's neck was to be broken. Thus, the principle was established that either you sacrifice it or you lose it. The firstborn was God's it didn't belong to you! You would not be allowed to keep it!

One more thing I call to you attention! A clean animal had to be sacrificed to redeem an unclean animal. So, a newborn lamb must be sacrificed to redeem a newborn donkey.

Let me ask you a question.

Were you born clean or unclean?

So, as unclean you would have to be redeemed by someone clean. Correct?

Was Jesus born clean or unclean? 

Right! The virgin birth matters doesn't it?!?

So God sacrificed His firstborn to redeem the unclean (you and me, i.e.)! 

Let's put it this way! God gave His best to redeem us and He gave Him first! So, you could say God tithed Jesus! Jesus was God's tithe given to redeem the rest of God's children.

Does that add some significance to the whole concept of tithing?

Think about it.