First of All

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: (Num 3:40-41 NKJV)  Then the LORD said to Moses: “Number all the firstborn males of the children of Israel from a month old and above, and take the number of their names. {41} “And you shall take the Levites for Me; I am the LORD; instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the livestock of the children of Israel.”

Observation: The firstborn has always had a privileged relationship with God.  Adam was the firstborn of all.  There is special mention of Cain as the firstborn of Adam and his horrific actions.  As the firstborn of each generation is born, special mention is made of them.  In the book of numbers, God reiterates that the Levites are God’s in place of all the firstborn of Israel; it is their privilege to be chosen and enjoyed the special honor of conducting the services of the sanctuary and being the ones in charge of the transportation, the care, and the maintenance of it.  By doing that, they enjoyed a closer contact, at least geographically, to God, than any of the other tribes.

Application: Being the fifth child in a family of six siblings, I understand about the privilege the older siblings enjoy.  In my home, the older child always had special privileges.  For instance, when riding in our car, my mother was always seated by my father, and it was my sister, the firstborn, who would seat next to her.  After my sister moved to the U.S., the one who would seat in the front seat would be the next or the second-born, in this case my second oldest brother.  As you can imagine, it was a long time before I could seat in the front seat; in reality, I rarely did, except at those times when I was the only one riding with my dad in the car.
     We had similar seating arrangements at the dining table with my father at the head, my mother at his left, and the older siblings down the line. . . I was at the far end.  My older sister had her own room while the rest of us shared rooms.  Once she left, y older brother got his own room, and when he got married, my other brother got his room.  When my other sister got married, I finally got my own room, by then I was about thirteen years old and had been sharing a room with my younger brother for the last 5 years.
     As I look back, it was not a matter of showing preference for any of us, it was a way of honoring and respecting us all individually and instilling in the younger siblings the same honor and respect for anyone older than us.  Maybe that was part of what God was trying to instill in the Israelites; that the Levites were a special tribe in the same way the Israelites were chosen to be His special people.  While we want to love our children equally, the birth order of our children gives us an opportunity to help them understand good, strong, healthy family dynamics and also lessons of respect, honor, and a teachable spirit so them may be open to learning from those older than they are.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, thank You for teaching us to honor and respect those older than we are because from them we can also learn how to love, honor, and respect You.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



Please login to start chatting. Don't have an account? Click here to register.