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February 11

Exodus 12:21-51, Matthew 25:24-46

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

Ex. 13:1-10 Care is here taken to perpetuate the remembrance… [o]f the preservation of Israel's firstborn, when the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain. In memory of that distinguishing favour, and in gratitude for it, the firstborn, in all ages, were to be consecrated to God, as his peculiars (v. 2), and to be redeemed, v. 13. God, who by the right of creation is proprietor and sovereign of all the creatures, here lays claim in particular to the firstborn of the Israelites, by right of protection: Sanctify to me all the firstborn. The parents were not to look upon themselves as interested in their firstborn, till they had first solemnly presented them to God, recognized his title to them, and received them back, at a certain rate, from him again. Note, 1. That which is by special distinguishing mercy spared to us should be in a peculiar manner dedicated to God's honour; at least some grateful acknowledgment, in works of piety and charity, should be made, when our lives, or the lives of our children, have been given us for a prey. 2. God, who is the first and best, should have the first and best, and to him we should resign that which is most dear to us, and most valuable. The firstborn were the joy and hope of their families. Therefore they shall be mine, says God. By this is will appear that we love God best (as we ought) if we are willing to part with that to him which we love best in this world. 3. It is the church of the firstborn that is sanctified to God, Heb. 12:23. Christ it the firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8:29), and, by virtue of their union with him, all that are born again, and born from above, are accounted as firstborn. There is an excellency of dignity and power belonging to them; and, if children, then heirs.

Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary, Vol. 1, (McLean, VA: MacDonald Publishing Company, nd.), pp. 324-325

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