Consecrate & Commemorate

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Sacrificing for the Lord honors Him.

Exodus(35) (Part of the Rescued(34) series)
by Stuart Johns(233) on April 7, 2024 (Sunday Morning(343))

Evangelism(4), Glorifying God(6), Promises(14), Sacrifice(16), Salvation(84)


Consecrate & Commemorate

(Exodus 13:1-16)



“Christian author and speaker Skye Jethani (Jeh-tawn-ee) wrote about his kindergarten-aged daughter's homework assignment: Help your child identify as many logos as possible. Jethani said that without hesitating, she identified Pizza Hut, Target, and Lego. At home, she collected the logos of Disney, Jell-O, and Goldfish Crackers. Later, while drinking a glass of water, she proudly shouted, ‘That says IKEA!’ She spotted the tiny logo imprinted on the bottom of the glass.


Jethani reflected:


Should it scare me that my five-year-old had memorized more corporate brands than Bible verses or even names of relatives? Also scary was the fact that no one taught her to identify logos. We didn't have corporate logo flashcard drills at home. Zoe internalized these logos simply by living for five years in a brand-saturated culture.


This sort of brand marketing has been so effective that the average ten-year-old has already memorized between 300 and 400 brands. When these children become adolescents, each with an average of $100 of disposable cash to spend every week, they will select from these brands to construct their identities—identities they can eat, drink, smoke, drive, play, ride, and wear.


The spiritual value of shopping is not lost on marketers. Douglas Atkins, author of The Culting of Brands: When Customers Become True Believers, states plainly that, ‘Brands are the new religion.’”


Source: Skye Jethani, "There's Power in the Name Brand," Skye Jethani blog (5-18-16).




  • ME

    • Advertisement Jingles

        • There are certain advertisement jingles or phrases that I can still remember from my childhood

          • “Oh, I’d love to be an Oscar Mayer wiener, that is what I truly like to be. ​​ Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener, everyone would be in love with me.” ​​ (part of the Oscar Mayer wiener jingle)

          • “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” ​​ (McDonald’s commercial from 1975)

          • “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid. ​​ They got a million toys at Toys R Us, that I can play with. ​​ I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid. ​​ They got the best for so much less, you really flip your lid. ​​ From bikes to trains to video games. ​​ It’s the biggest toy store there is. ​​ Geeee…whiz. ​​ I don’t want to grow up, but maybe if I did. ​​ I couldn’t be a Toys R Us kid. ​​ More games, more toys, Oh boy. ​​ I want to be a Toys R Us kid.” ​​ (Toys R Us theme song from 1980)

    • Bible verses

        • John 3:16 (For God so loved the world…)

        • Romans 3:23 (For all have sinned…)

        • Romans 5:8 (But God demonstrates His love for us…)

        • Romans 6:23 (For the wages of sin is death…)

        • 1 John 1:9 (If we confess our sins…)

        • Hebrews 9:22b (without the shedding of blood…)


  • WE

    • What phrases or jingles do you remember?

    • What Bible verses do you remember?


Moses shared with the Israelites what the Lord had shared with him. ​​ He told them about commemorating the day the Lord set them free from slavery in Egypt and about consecrating their firstborn male sons and animals. ​​ They would need to share with the next generation how God had saved them and why they sacrificed for Him, so they would never forget. ​​ Both commemorating and consecrating would require sacrificing on their part. ​​ What we can learn from this passage today is that . . .


BIG IDEA – Sacrificing for the Lord honors Him.


Let’s pray


  • GOD (Exodus 13:1-16)

    • Consecrate (vv. 1-2, 11-16)

        • The Lord spoke to Moses (vv. 1-2)

          • The Lord spoke to Moses and told him to consecrate to Him every firstborn male

          • The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belonged to the Lord

          • It did not matter if it was human or animal, it belonged to the Lord

          • Moses obviously shortened the command from the Lord at the beginning of this section, because he elaborated, in more detail, what the command entailed in verses 11-16 as he shared it with the Israelites

        • Moses spoke to the Israelites (vv. 11-16)

          • The command to consecrate the firstborn human and animal was reserved for the future

            • They would need to observe this command when the Lord brought them into the land of the Canaanites (The Promised Land)

            • The Lord had promised this land to them and their forefathers on oath

              • Genesis 17:8, “The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

              • PRINCIPLE #1 – God keeps His promises!

                • This message from the Lord about their future should have encouraged the Israelites

                • It was not “if” the Lord would bring them into the Promised Land, then they would have to observe this command, but “after” the Lord brought them into the Promised Land

                • We can trust the Lord to keep His promises, about our future, too

                  • The Lord has promised to never leave us or forsake (Deuteronomy 31:8; Hebrews 13:5b)

                  • The Lord has promised to send Jesus a second time to take us home to be with Him

                  • Read Revelation 21:1-8

                • We should be encouraged with God’s future promises for us

            • What we see next is the details of the command about consecrating the firstborn

          • What was required

            • Give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb

              • Firstborn males of livestock were to be sacrificed as holy to the Lord

                • The livestock included sheep, goats, and oxen/cattle

                • They were considered clean animals that the Israelites were allowed to eat

                • They were to be offered as a sacrifice to the Lord

                • Numbers 18:17, “But you must not redeem the firstborn of an ox, a sheep or a goat; they are holy. ​​ Sprinkle their blood on the altar and burn their fat as an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.

                • PRINCIPLE #2 – God has the right of ownership to our first and best.

                  • Just as the Israelites had to offer the first and best of their livestock, we need to offer the first and best of our lives and work

                  • We need to be willing to offer the best of our time, income, and resources to the Lord

                  • How are you doing with offering the best of your time to the Lord? (are you spending time in fellowship with Him on a daily basis and with His people on a weekly basis?)

                  • How are you doing with offering the best of your income to the Lord? (are you giving consistently to the Lord?)

                  • How are you doing with offering the best of your resources to the Lord? (are you sharing the gifts and abilities that the Lord has given you with others?)

                  • Is there room for improvement?

                  • #1 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Recognize God’s ownership of my first and best by offering the best of my time, income, and resources to Him.

                  • That may take some sacrifice on our part

                • Sacrificing for the Lord honors Him.

              • Firstborn of unclean animals were to be redeemed

                • In this text donkeys are the token animal mentioned to represent all unclean animals that were used for work

                • Numbers 18:15, The first offspring of every womb, both man and animal, that is offered to the Lord is yours. ​​ But you must redeem every firstborn son and every firstborn male of unclean animals.

                • “In the case of a donkey, a non firstborn lamb was an appropriate substitute (since all firstborn lambs must be given to God and none held back to serve as redemption substitutes).” ​​ [Stuart, The New American Commentary, Volume 2, Exodus, 317]

                • If the owner of the donkey was not prepared to redeem it by sacrificing a lamb, then he had to break its neck

                  • The firstborn was God’s holy possession – it belonged to Him

                  • The holy was not to be used for the ordinary unless it was redeemed

                  • Sacrificing for the Lord honors Him.

                • Redemption of firstborn males was not limited to just unclean animals, but also to human sons

              • Firstborn sons were to be redeemed

                • Scripture background

                  • Numbers 18:16, When they are a month old, you must redeem them at the redemption price set at five shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs.

                  • Leviticus 12:6-8, When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. ​​ He shall offer them before the Lord to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood. ​​ These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or girl. ​​ If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. ​​ In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.

                  • Luke 2:21-24, On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. ​​ When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

                • Jesus, the Redeemer, was redeemed (even though He did not have to be redeemed)

                • His parents were obedient to the command to consecrate the first male that opened the womb

            • The command was to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb, but why was this required?

          • Why it was required

            • It was a way to remember how the Lord rescued the Israelites from slavery

              • For the Israelites, God used His mighty hand to bring them out of Egypt

              • When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let them go, the Lord killed every firstborn man and animal in Egypt

              • Since the Lord passed over the firstborn sons and animals of the Israelites, they remembered His mercy and protection by sacrificing the first male offspring of every womb and redeeming each of their firstborn sons

              • It would be like a sign on their hand and a symbol on their foreheads

                • “The line of thought referred to merely expresses the idea, that the Israelites were not only to retain the commands of God in their hearts, and to confess them with the mouth, but to fulfill them with the hand, or in act and deed, and thus to show themselves in their whole bearing as guardians and observers of the law. ​​ As the hand is the medium of action, and carrying in the hand represents handling, so the space between the eyes, or the forehead, is that part of the Body which is generally visible, and what is worn there is worn to be seen.” [Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume 1, The Pentateuch, 343-44]

              • Remembering was important so it could be passed down to future generations

            • PRINCIPLE #3 – God is pleased when we remember how He saved us.

              • Just like the Israelites, it is important for us to remember how the Lord saved us

              • For some of us it was dramatic and supernatural (He saved us from a life of destruction and rebellion)

              • For others it was perhaps a recognition of God’s hand at work throughout our entire lives

              • However the Lord saved you, it is worth remembering

              • #2 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Take time this week to remember how Jesus saved me, and thank Him.

          • The importance of sharing

            • If this command was going to make it until the Israelites entered the Promised Land, it would need to be shared from generation to generation

              • When a son would ask his father about the meaning of sacrificing the firstborn animal and redeeming the firstborn son, he would share with him what it meant

              • This also foreshadowed Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross

                • Some of the Israelites in the 1st Century would recognize the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice

                • Matthew 20:28, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

                • 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20, You are not your own; you were bought at a price. ​​ Therefore honor God with your body.

                • 1 Peter 1:18-19, For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

              • PRINCIPLE #4 – God is glorified when we share why we sacrifice.

                • When our children ask us why we sacrifice our time, income, and resources for the Lord, then we have an incredible opportunity to share what it means for us

                • We can share that we sacrifice our time, income, and resources to serve the Lord at church or with another ministry organization because it is a way of glorifying and honoring God for saving us

                • We model for them that we are grateful to the Lord for rescuing us from sin and death

                • “When they ask you about the Lord’s Supper or other questions regarding salvation, are you ready to answer? ​​ This is a great time to share the gospel with your own child. ​​ We were slaves, but God rescued us. ​​ We deserved the death angel, but God passed over us. ​​ Then tell them of the marriage supper in the future (Rev 19). ​​ One day we will sit down at a banquet table with our King! ​​ Tell them it is ‘by the strong hand of God’ that the captives are free. ​​ As parents, we have a holy responsibility of catechizing our kids, pointing them to Jesus.” ​​ [Merida, Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Exodus, 75]

                • We can also share the same things with others

              • #3 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Glorify God by sharing with __________ (name/group) why I sacrifice ____________ (time, income, resources).

            • Who will you share with even today?

        • Moses not only spoke to the Israelites about consecrating the firstborn sons and animals, but he also spoke to them about commemorating the day they were rescued from slavery

    • Commemorate (vv. 3-10)

        • The Lord had already given Moses and Aaron these instructions, but Moses had not yet communicated them to the Israelites

          • Chapter 12 is the instructions from the Lord to Moses and Aaron

          • Chapter 13, verses 3-10 is Moses instructions to the Israelites

        • How were they to commemorate the day God brought them out of the land of slavery?

          • Do not eat anything with yeast in it

            • When the Israelites left Egypt, it was in such a hurry that they did not have time to add yeast to their bread

            • In order to commemorate this part of the Exodus, the Israelites were to sacrifice yeast/leaven every year

            • Sacrificing for the Lord honors Him.

            • They were to sacrifice yeast for the seven days of the Festival of Unleavened Bread

            • All yeast was to be removed from their dwellings, so that the bread would not accidently be leavened

          • As we learned in chapter 12, and again in verse 10, this was to be a continual, ongoing, annual ceremony for the Israelites

        • They were supposed to share with their children why they were sacrificing yeast in their bread

          • They were to share that they were doing this because of what the Lord did for them when they came out of Egypt

          • PRINCIPLE #4 – God is glorified when we share why we sacrifice.

        • We see again the use of the idea that they were to retain the commands of God in their hearts, confess them with their mouths, and fulfill them with their hands

          • Verse 9, like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the Lord is to be on your lips. ​​ For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.

          • PRINCIPLE #3 – God is pleased when we remember how He saved us.

        • We are going to commemorate our Savior’s perfect sacrifice on the cross this morning following the message

          • We saw today that the firstborn sons had to be redeemed

          • We also saw that the firstborn male animals that were unclean/used for work could be redeemed with a substitute lamb or goat

          • You and I have the opportunity to be redeemed because of Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice for us

            • 2 Corinthians 5:21, God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

            • Romans 8:32, He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

            • We need a substitute because we have all sinned (Rom. 3:23; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 5:8)

            • We are not good people, even though we think we are (good person test – liar, thief, blasphemer, adulterous, murderer at heart)

            • Ephesians 2:8-9, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.

            • Are you ready to make that decision today? ​​ (let the Lord know you want Jesus to be your sin substitute and you are accepting His gift of salvation through faith)


  • YOU

    • Recognize God’s ownership of your first and best by offering the best of your time, income, and resources to Him

    • Take time this week to remember how Jesus saved you, and thank Him

    • Glorify God by sharing with an individual or group why you sacrifice your time, income, and resources

    • Ask Jesus to be your sin substitute by faith


  • WE

    • We need to recognize God’s ownership of our first and best here at Idaville Church

    • Take time this week to remember how Jesus saved us as a church, and thank Him

    • Glorify God by sharing why we sacrifice our time, income, and resources to the Lord



“In his book The Unnecessary Pastor, Eugene Peterson writes:


My two sons are both rock climbers, and I have listened to them plan their ascents. They spend as much or more time planning their climbs as in the actual climbing. They meticulously plot their route and then, as they climb, put in what they call ‘protection’ pitons (pee-taan) hammered into small crevices in the rock face, with attached ropes that will arrest a quick descent to death. Rock climbers who fail to put in protection have short climbing careers.


Our pitons or ‘protection’ come as we remember and hold on to those times when we have experienced God's faithfulness in our lives. Every answered prayer, every victory, every storm that has been calmed by his presence is a piton which keeps us from falling, losing hope, or worse yet, losing our faith. Every piton in our life is an example of God's faithfulness to us. As we ascend in the kingdom of God, we also realize that each experience, each victory is only a piton – a stepping stone toward our ultimate goal of finishing the race and receiving the crown of glory.


Source: Eugene Peterson, The Unnecessary Pastor, Rediscovering the Call (Eerdmans, 2000), p.12.