BY PROSPER TINGINI My previous article touched on the subject of the origins of the Passover Feast and of its purpose; i.e. to free the children of Israel from slavery bondage. As a recap, Exodus 12:29-32 captures how the Passover came to pass. It reads: And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the first born in the land of Egypt, from the first born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first born of livestock.
So the Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also”.
The sacrifice was of the first-borns of man, herd and flock for all households which did display the sign of blood on the lintel and on the door posts of their houses when the Lord passed through the land of Egypt that night. In Exodus 13:2, the Lord spoke to Moses to them say, “Consecrate to me all the first born, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both man and beast; it is Mine.” Thus the sacrifice of firstlings became instituted as a statute by the Lord. In Exodus 13:12-16, Moses addressed the people, in accordance with what the Lord our God directed in relation to the nature of the offerings of firstlings. He spoke, “You shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb, that is, every first born that comes from an animal which you have; the male shall be the Lord’s. But every first born of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the first born of man among your sons you shall redeem.
“So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. And it came to pass, when the Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the Lord killed all the first born of man and the first born of beast. Therefore sacrifice to the Lord all males that open the womb, but all the first born of my sons I redeem.’
“It shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”
There is however a time limits on the sacrifice of firstlings. Exodus 22 reads, as spoken by the Lord, “The first born of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do likewise with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its mother; on the eight day you shall give it to me”. This was meant to accommodate the ritual of circumcision, which had been directed to be performed on a new born son’s eight day (read Genesis 17:9-14).
Jesus Christ our Lord underwent both provision of the statutes of God i.e sacrifice of sons who open the womb and circumcision on the eight day after birth. Luke 2:21 reads: At the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. In Luke 2:22-24, it says of the baby Jesus Christ: And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him to the Lord as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’ and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons (to redeem first born sons)’.
On the subject of crops and fruits, the Lord our God spoke (Exodus 22:29), “You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and of your fruits.” Exodus 23:19 proceeds to say, “The first of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.” However, with regards to newly planted fruit trees, this is what the Lord prescribed (Leviticus 19:23-25), “When you come into the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall treat their fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you, it must not be eaten. And in the fourth year, all their fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. But in the fifth year, you may eat of their fruit that they may yield more richly for you. I am the Lord your God.”
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All the above sacrifices constitute part of offerings to the Lord our God. On standardised offerings, we are most familiar with the tithe, apart from other freewill offerings which people may want to offer to the Lord. Our Christianity has done away with most of the proclaimed ritual offerings on the strength that Jesus Christ’s death, and the blood that was shed, substituted the majority of such related offerings. We have chosen to discard the entirety of God’s proclamations on the misconstrued belief that the statutes of the Lord our God are now invalid.
We have however chosen to retain only the statutes that are easier to implement and those that are beneficial to the Church in terms of income through selected offerings. I will not be a judge for humanity. The Lord our god will prevail. Amen.
- Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly – God’s messengers. Contact details: Mobile and Whatsapp: 0771 260 195. Email address: [email protected]