Deuteronomy 15:19 (CSB)
19 “Consecrate to the Lord your God every firstborn male produced by your herd and flock. You are not to put the firstborn of your oxen to work or shear the firstborn of your flock.
This passage, although seemingly a big shift from the previous one, continues a theme of redemption and freedom.
- The firstborn of the flock represent giving back to God immediately from what He has provided. It is not the last of the flock, it is not the skinniest, smallest, weakest, of the flock. It is a step out in faith to give the first, because after all, who knows if there even will be a second? This should be our attitude: putting God first in our lives, and placing our faith in Him.
- Consecrating the animal is an offering to God. Unlike the offering of the first born sons, which was to service, the animal is a sacrifice, a foreshadow of Jesus’ sacrifice. Again, a reminder for us of the sacrifice of the One for us.
- The animal should be unblemished, without defect. I think this is less an issue of those qualities reducing the inherent value of the animal, and more to do with the image it represents: the perfect Christ. Further, it would seem that the offering would mean something more if the sacrifice meant more to the offerer.
- Although it certainly should not be a dogmatic point, but it seems to me that Deut. 15:22 suggests that the benefits of the sacrifice are available to all, and those partaking are part of the city.
Lord, thank You for the sacrificial system, for the picture of what was to come: Jesus Christ, the perfect and everlasting sacrifice for us. I am sorry for keeping not just the best, but often all, of what You give me for myself. I pray for the sacrificial, generous, and worshipping attitude to give back to You what is Yours. Amen.