Take the Levites instead. - Numbers 3:45
Each firstborn son was God's. On the day of the Exodus, as the firstborn of Egypt were stricken, so the firstborn of Israel were hallowed. God claimed the right of their service in His Temple, to serve there as priests and attendants. But instead of them, He accepted the whole tribe of Levi; and for the overplus of firstborn sons above the number of Levites, He accepted redemption money, which went to maintain Aaron and his family. Thus, each firstborn son was represented, either by a substitute, or by a money payment.
An Appeal to parents. - Would it not be a blessed custom if, in all our churches, the firstborn child was, in a special sense, regarded as God's, and trained for some branch of His holy service in the home and foreign field? What a blessing would rest on our homes if this were the custom! It would lead to very definite prayer, that the young soul might be truly converted and led to realize the parents' ideal.
An Appeal to firstborn Children. - Either go yourself into the service of God, at home or abroad, or send a substitute. Consider yourself under obligation to do some special work for Christ and His Church. And if you cannot, earn money to support your representative. This is laying up treasure in heaven.
An Appeal to Families. - Why should not each Christian family become a missionary society, sending one of its members forth in the name of the rest, who should bind themselves solemnly to "hold the ropes"; and thus obey the Master's parting commission, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"?