Numbers: the first is always His…

Cover to Cover

Reading: Numbers 1:1-3:51

Focus: Numbers 3:11-13, 40-51

The first things are generally more valuable. The most treasured items are those that were first produced, even if they weren’t the best (maybe except in terms of technology). The older an antique, the greater its value. The first car off the Porsche production line only increases its value, rather than depreciating. The first house, even though run down and broken, is the most memorable and precious. The firstborn child is the one where one dreams and hopes for a better future.

As Israel had been released from the bondage of slavery in Egypt and bought into God’s care, God required of them that they give the first of all that they had. The first of the crop. the firstborn of their flock, even their firstborn son. It would be somewhat drastic to have all the firstborn sons of Israel offered to God, so God provided an alternative option. In place of all the firstborn sons of Israel, God would take for himself the tribe of Levi. Therefore, the Levites were to be taken into God’s service for the care and service of the Tabernacle sanctuary, become God’s firstborn possession from among the people of Israel.

It makes us wonder though, the Israelites gave the first of all they had. They gave the first of their harvest, the first of their flock, the first of their children (redeemed through the Levites). All of which was given for the glory of God. What do we give? Or rather, what is our attitude to giving to God? Human nature in its selfishness tends towards keeping the first portion for ourselves rather than giving it away… Or, with the first generally being the more valuable, do we give which we value the most to God?
Whether it be offerings; whether it be our service; whether it be our time; whether it be, dare I say, our careers… are we willing to give the best of our lives to God? He who gave up His best, His Son, Jesus Christ, for us.

Next Reading: Numbers 4:1-6:27