by Rev Lai Kai Ming
Readings: Num 2-3; Pro 11:18-19
READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
“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.