How He made the move from His original "Plan A" to "Plan B" and then to "Plan C" provides insight into our "Plan B's and "Plan C's" of life. Many have thought they are letting God down because they feel they are living in Plan C, but as I'll show with Israel, plan C can quickly become His new plan A!
What if He is so good and saw so far ahead that He can adjust His plan A for us to plan B and then plan C, and then make plan B or C His new plan A? Sounds complicated, but it isn't. Let's start with His 'Plan A' for Israel.
The original Plan A
In Exodus 4: 22-23 Moses is standing before Christ* at the burning bush, who identifies Himself as the I AM. He tells Moses to tell Pharaoh to let Israel go, for "Israel is my son, even my firstborn, and if you don't let him go, I will kill your son, even your firstborn."
(*In John 8: 58 Jesus stated He is the I AM. Get my series "I AM; Who Jesus is and where He came from" if interested in learning more.)
The whole nation of Israel is His firstborn. That means every man, woman, and child to the Lord, was considered His firstborn. Think of how amazing that was for them to hear!
In those days the firstborn received double the inheritance* while the rest of the children received less if anything. The firstborn was being trained for inheriting the family business, and had the right to use the family name representing the father in business. (You can see direct parallels to us being trained, using the family name, etc) *Deuteronomy 21: 17
Every man, woman, and child was the firstborn son in the heavenly Father's eyes, with all the rights and privileges of a firstborn son before Him - even if in the natural they were not firstborn nor male in their family.
Even if child #8 was a girl in a 10 child family, meaning they would not have the inheritance of the firstborn in their family, in God's family they were a firstborn and therefore able to receive God's full inheritance for themselves. It meant that every little girl who would grow up with perhaps limited rights and training in that culture, was to God His firstborn as a son. Spiritually, she would grow up to have all the rights and privileges of a firstborn son with God. He elevated all to firstborn sonship.
Being God's firstborn meant Israel as a nation would have rights and privileges that no other nation would have. They were to spread the knowledge of God and His ways to the nations of the earth; they became His chosen people, His firstborn son.
But not just Israel
Even though the whole nation of Israel is God's firstborn, He went a step further.
In Exodus 13: 2-15 just after the original Passover in which the blood of the innocent lamb protected Israel and their firstborn children while the firstborn of Egypt died, God issued further instructions.
He said because of the blood of the lamb which He had ultimately provided for each person, covered them during the judgement on Egypt's gods*, He now owned the firstborn male child. He had bought the firstborn with a price**, so they were legally His. *Numbers 33:4, **Exodus 13: 2-15, I Corinthians 6: 20
This is why, as seen in Numbers 18:15, it says the firstborn must be either bought back from the Lord with a specific offering, or that child is to be dedicated to serving Him in temple ministry.
This is what Hannah was doing in I Samuel 1: 11 when she vowed if God gave her a son he would be His - she would not redeem (buy him back) him, it was enough for her that she would have a son. That is why Samuel grew up in the temple with Eli the high priest. Hannah kept her promise and did not buy Samuel back.
Mary and Joseph are similarly buying back the baby Jesus in Luke 2: 22-24 - otherwise He would have been like Samuel and become a priest. But Mary and Joseph chose to buy Him back from the Father instead, and He grew up a carpenter's son.
It is for this reason the Lord told Israel in Exodus 19: 6 when they came to the holy mountain, that they were all to be a "kingdom of priests unto me, a holy nation." A kingdom of priests. Not kings & priests, but a kingdom of priests.
Because Israel was God's firstborn son He had a choice to make. The firstborn either had to be bought back from the Lord or dedicated to God's service. The whole nation of Israel was His, and He chose NOT to give them to 'secular' work, but said the whole firstborn nation would be His priests - a kingdom of priests unto Him alone.
And so God's Plan A was for the whole nation, His firstborn, to serve Him in ministry...and that's where we will pick it up next week. Until then, blessings,
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