Chapter three of Numbers ends with the redemption of the first born of all Israel. The Levites were taken as a special possession of the Lord as a substitute for all the first born children in Israel. All Israel belonged to God, of course, and that fact is symbolized by the claiming of the first born. The first fruits of everything belong to God. It is the same as the Tithe which is a symbol of the fact that everything we have is God’s and it teaches us to put Him first in our lives. Thus, it’s the first day of the week, the first part of your day, the first part of your income that should be given to God.

Israel is often called God’s “firstborn.” The New Testament uses the same phrase to refer to Christians. Hebrews 12:23 calls us “the church of the firstborn.” This means that every believer is in the position of the first born of Israel. We are claimed by God as His very own possession being redeemed (bought back) by the blood of the lamb. We are a “holy priesthood” according to 1 Peter 2:5.

This makes us special. It also gives the believer a special responsibility. Paul tells the Corinthians this very thing when he writes in 1 Corinthians 3:20, “You are not your own. You were bought at a price, therefore honor God with your body.”