“And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.”
In this verse, God is giving Moses instructions for the Israelites concerning the Passover sacrifice and meal. A quick google search told me that a whole lamb would have been enough to feed upwards of 40 people! I can eat a lot but I doubt my wife, our year-old son, and I would have put a dent in a whole lamb. Without refrigeration, most of that meat would have likely spoiled, so a small family like mine was commanded to find a neighbor to share a lamb and the meal with. Two thoughts come to mind when reading this verse. The first is the importance of community. In this verse, having community was valuable enough for lives to depend on it! God intends for us to be a part of each other’s lives and to be there for one another. Life is hard and without your community, it is easy to get overwhelmed. We need those relationships to help us when times get tough or when we are presented with a whole lamb to consume.
My second thought from reading this verse is how it’s not the size that matters. A whole lamb would look like a much larger sacrifice for my family of three than it would have for a family of 20. Why would I want my sacrifice to look smaller if my firstborn son’s life depended on it?! It was never about the size of the sacrifice but rather the faithfulness in the sacrifice. There wasn’t a perfect “lamb to person” ratio that the Israelites had to meet in order for their sacrifice to work. The sacrifice wasn’t about the lamb, it was about their faith in action. God said “do” and they faithfully did. Don’t ever let the perceived size of your sacrifice influence your obedience to serve God!
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions:
- Are you part of a close community of believers? In what ways do you share with each other?
- How are you at sharing your surplus? Are you able to receive from others as well?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?