Exodus Chapter 13 Consecration of the Firstborn to God

Sep 24, 2012  |  Exodus, Old Testament  |  No Comments

Words and Actions of God in Exodus Chapter 13

Exodus 13:1-2 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.

Exodus 13:3-10 And Moses said to the people, “Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage, for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. This day you came out, in the month of Abib. And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month. For seven days, you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day, there shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days, and there shall be no leavened bread  seen with you, nor shall there be leaven seen with you in all your quarters. And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is done because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ And it shall be a sign to you on your hand, and as a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand has the LORD brought you out of Egypt. You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.

Exodus 13:11-13 When the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, that you shall set apart for the LORD all that first opens the womb, and every firstborn that comes from an animal that you have, the males shall be the LORD’s. And every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break his neck. And all the firstborn of man among your children you shall redeem.

Exodus 13:14-15 And it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand, the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’

Exodus 13:16 And it shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.”

Exodus 13:17-18 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near, for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they face war, and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around, by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt in orderly ranks.

Exodus 13:19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear to do it, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from you here.”

Exodus 13:20-22 And they took their journey in Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

Reflections on God in Exodus Chapter 13

  • This chapter starts with a counterpoint to the previous chapter. In the previous chapter, God punished Egypt by killing all their firstborn sons. In this chapter, God gives Moses a new commandment for the children of Israel – they are to consecrate their firstborn sons and firstborn male animals to the LORD.
  • I think the consecration increases our bonds with God. It also serves as a reminder of who God is and what He did for the children of Israel.
  • In addition to be consecrated, the firstborn human son and the firstborn donkey were to be redeemed, by the sacrifice of a lamb. So every firstborn male, man and beast, were to be consecrated to the LORD, and that meant death, either to the animal or by the sacrifice of another animal to redeem the firstborn human or donkey.  Amazing.
  • The pattern God weaves through the Bible is deep and intricate.  I love patterns, and yet I recognize that I barely see a small outline of the pattern that exists. What an awesome God you are, LORD!
  • It is told and retold so often, we forget the wonder of it, but God personally led the children of Israel out of Egypt with a pillar of a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire during the night. Wow!  Forget about the familiarity of that and remember the wonder. God was with them and God Himself led them.
  • God knows our hearts so well – He led the children of Israel the long way around to avoid a war with the Philistines, so the children of Israel would not get discouraged and turn back to Egypt.
  • God established rituals and festivals so the Israelites would not forget how He brought them up out of Egypt.

What God Desires from Us – Lessons Learned in Exodus Chapter 13

  • Remember God – remember who He is and what He’s done for us.
  • Obey the commands He’s given us.
  • Celebrate the Holy Festivals He has set up.
  • Accept God’s redemption through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ, and consecrate ourselves to the LORD.
  • Remember that the alternative to redemption is death. God desires that all be saved, but we need to accept His free gift of salvation and share it with others.
  • Be thankful that God Himself wants to be with us. He was with the Israelites in the pillar of clouds and the pillar of fire, but even more with us through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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