“Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.” – Exodus 13:2
Once God led Israel out of Egypt and brought them out into the wilderness, He spoke to Moses and commanded that all the first-born of Israel, of both man and beast, would belong to Him. The condition of belonging to God was that whatever first opened its mother’s womb, man or beast, would be His possession.
God’s Word is unchanging. From the day that word was given to Moses until the birth of Jesus, it applied to all that came forth first from the womb. Jesus was the first birth of Mary, so He belonged to God from the start, even though He was God in human form. This idea may seem absurd or outrageous, but it speaks to the very heart of God’s mission of saving mankind.
The OT practice of redeeming the firstborn unto God foreshadowed His own coming into the world and that Jesus would be consecrated, or set apart, for God’s possession and use. Jesus opened the womb of Mary. Thus, under Jewish law, He belonged to God. The Son belonged to the Father in Spirit and in flesh. The beauty of this situation is that what was not God’s possession could not be used to redeem mankind. God used Himself, or His Son Jesus, to redeem all of mankind, not just the firstborn.
In a sense, Israel, is the firstborn among nations in God’s possession or inheritance, and the Bible states such. However, Jesus said in his earthly life that there were flocks not yet brought into the fold for which He had to die also. This reference was to you and me, the Gentiles, the non-Jews. Jesus said He came to minister to the house of Israel, which He spoke to the Syro-Phoenicain woman, but He made it clear that He came to die for the sins of the world. We know so because He told Nicodemus that “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe on Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). He stated elsewhere that He didn’t come to condemn the world but that through Him the world might be saved.
We are to be grateful that God included the world in His salvation plan and not just the nation of Israel. God could have desired to save Israel only and have been well within His rights to do so. Why? Because He is God and can do whatever He wants with His creation. Let’s just praise Him for including all mankind in His plans. Whether or not people accept that plan is up to them.
Father, oh “how precious is that flow (blood) that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.” You chose to set aside (consecrate) all the firstborn of Israel as Your possession. You knew in time that Jesus’ (Emmanuel’s) birth would lawfully make Him Your own, despite that He is Your Son already. You left no room for doubt in the minds of Israel. Your firstborn Son redeemed not only Jacob but also all of mankind, those that accept Your Son’s atoning gift of eternal life. Thank You! I love You, Dad. In Jesus’ name, Amen.