First love and Firstborn

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: Num 2-3; Pro 11:18-19

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
Numbers 3:12-13
“Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore the Levites shall be Mine, because all the firstborn are Mine. On the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast. They shall be Mine: I am the Lord.”

I never saw it this way. That the death of the firstborn in Egypt had meaning for the Israelites beyond just physical deliverance from slavery. For every firstborn struck in Egypt, a firstborn in Israel was dedicated to God their Deliverer. This wasn’t some payback scheme, but an eternal reminder of what it took for Israel to be saved – obedience, blood, and death. We would think that only the firstborn of Egypt were deserving of judgment, Think again. Are we not all sinners deserving of death?

I am a firstborn. Honestly, I think very little about it, except during younger days when that became an issue with my brother. Now I have a firstborn, though a female (and so are my second and third born!). Yes, the firstborn is a symbol of new life – life from life. It represents God’s gift of co-creating for humans and animals. I must admit that my feelings of great awe and gratitude have faded … now that my firstborn is already 21. But it shouldn’t, in the same way that my first love for God should never be diminished.

Holy Spirit, Love divine,
Glow within this heart of mine;
Kindle every high desire;
Perish self in Thy pure fire.

Day 328

by Rev Joel Yong

1 Timothy 4:7-8
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

The craziest thing I saw in recent months was a fit, muscular man sitting outside his gym and smoking. It was obvious he has worked hard – lifted weights and shed volumes of sweat as he labored to build muscles and firm up his body shape.

But it was equally obvious that he had little concern towards his internal organs by smoking that cigarette and exposing himself to the risk of cancer.

He cared for the exterior because he wanted to look good. It did not matter that his insides – his lungs were nicotine tarred.

We work hard physically too – to shed pounds and look good in the clothes we wear. But in all madness – we too do not care about the insides- our spiritual walk.

We are told in today’s text to train ourselves for godliness. It should matter to us, because we want to bring glory to God. Our ability to fit into nice clothes draws admiring praise from people. But our ability to live godly lives, causes people to honor God. Let’s work on that, shall we?