Scarlet Thread – Firstborn

Last week looked at the ministry of the Levites and how that can impact and teach us on how to minister.

  1. Fear of God to want to obey Him no matter what
  2. Hear from God to teach others
  3. Be able to teach and turn people from sin
  4. Presence of God in their lives.

One area that I mentioned but did not explore is the idea of the firstborn belonging to God

  1. Firstborn Verses
  1. I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the LORD.” [Num 3.12ff
  2. “Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to the LORD. In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine. “After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering, they are to come to do their work at the Tent of Meeting. They are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to me. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn, the first male offspring from every Israelite woman. Every firstborn male in Israel, whether man or animal, is mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set them apart for myself. And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel. Of all the Israelites, I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons to do the work at the Tent of Meeting on behalf of the Israelites and to make atonement for them so that no plague will strike the Israelites when they go near the sanctuary.” [Num 8.13ff]
  3. “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 forefathers, 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. Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons. “In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed every firstborn in Egypt, both man and animal. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’ “ [Ex 13.11ff]
  4. “No one, however, may dedicate the firstborn of an animal, since the firstborn already belongs to the LORD; whether an ox or a sheep, it is the LORD’s.” [Lev 27.26]

A lot of verses about the first born, but we are going to break it down and see what we can learn about the first born from these.

2.  Firstborn are the Lord’s

  1. Numbers 3: 12 The first born are the Lord’s and belong to God.
  2. God struck down the firstborn in Egypt so they are his.
    1. Hard to worship a vengeful god who would kill the firstborn of a country.
      1. I agree I am not going to worship a vengeful God so there must be something deeper to this than I am able to see.
  3. First born and first fruits are the same.
  4. Firstborn were always brought as sacrifices to the Lord
    1. Cain brought some of the crops, Abel brought the firstborn Genesis 4: 3 – 5
    2. Firstborn did not offer the firstborn, but the second born did.
  5. Pharaoh tried to bind the children of Israel and stop them from their growth.
    1. Growth of Israel was intimidating to Egypt Exodus 1: 7
    2. New king came to power and subjugated the Israelites Exodus 1: 9, 10
      1. Joseph may have seen this prophetically as he stated the Lord would help them leave Egypt . Genesis 50: 24
    3. Destroy them with crushing labor and hardship Exodus 1: 11, 12
    4. Curse of killing the boys to keep them in slavery Exodus 1: 15, 16
      1. All boys under a curse, but God chose the firstborn to be his.

3. Firstborn under a curse

  1. Every firstborn in Egypt is under a curse and they are all to die.
  2. Redeem everything or kill it. Exodus 13: 11
    1. We are either redeemed or cursed and destroyed.
    2. No middle ground.  Either it is redeemed or killed.
  3. All the people are under this curse, not just the Egyptians.
  4. The difference between the two groups is the blood on the doorposts.

4. Firstborn strength

  1. Genesis 49: 3 Sign of the vitality of the father
    1. Womb opened so other blessings can flow through
    2. Egypts hope and vitality Psalm 105: 36, Psalm 77: 51
  2. Deuteronomy 21: 17 You must recognize the vitality of the firstborn.
    1. Elisha asking for a double portion like a  firstborn son.
  3. Firstborn is proof of the power and authority of the Father.
    1. Jesus firstborn over all creation Colossians 1: 15
  4. Pharaoh killing the children was showing the power to destroy and enslave the people
  5. God is going to destroy that power of a “god” Exodus 12: 12
  6. It is not a matter of my God is bigger than your god. It is my God is going to stop you from killing and forcing millions of people into bondage.
    1. The plague against the crops wasn’t because God hated the crops or the cattle.  It was a natural result of a power behind these things.

5. Firstborn Privilege.

  1. The firstborn are already God’s Leviticus 27: 26
    1. Tithe is not really giving as the first fruit already belong to God.
    2. Even though they belong to God they are under a curse and need to be redeemed.
    3. Christ redeemed the firstborn.
      1. Pharaoh and Egypt Stubborn
      2. Ninevah also oppressed the Israelites, but at Jonah’s preaching, they repented and fasted.
  2. Numbers 8: 13 Firstborn given as gifts to Aaron to use in his work.
    1. They are the Levites who are given wholly to me.
    2. We are the Levites who are called to minister
  3. Hebrews 12: 22, 23 Gathering of people who have been made righteous by God.
    1. Double portion of all the Father has is ours through Jesus Christ.
    2. All things that pertain to life and holiness through the knowledge of him who called you into his glorious presence 2 Peter 1: 3
  4. Go minister this authority to the world in which we live.
    1. Fear of God to want to obey Him no matter what
    2. Hear from God to teach others
    3. Be able to teach and turn people from sin
    4. Presence of God in their lives