God called Moses to return to Egypt from his exile in the desert (Midian). Moses was instructed to perform all of the miracles that God empowered him to do before Pharaoh. God continued laying out the specs for Moses' mission in Egypt. Essentially, God had prepared Moses for arguably the singularly most influential biblical account of the entire Old Testament. This is huge. Yet, what stole the show for me, is what follows in verse 22:
- "Then you will tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son." (NLT)
The consistency of the message alone would appear to give younger siblings in the birthing order cause for celebration. In contrast, verse 22 illustrates God's favor towards Israel, His firstborn. What becomes the fly in the ointment is the fact that here God directly emphasizes Israel's birth order-- and it ain't second. (Too bad Junior. You've ridden that favor wave for far too long, but Genesis is as far as you go!)
Asserting Israel's birth order begs the question, Are there other "sons" (or nations) of God? If so, who? What's their birth order? Also, the scripture seems to break from a protocol where the youngest is favored over the eldest.
Certainly Exodus 4:22 does not close the book on God's principal of the last being first. There are a myriad of other examples throughout the bible illustrating this truth. However, verse 22 does make me wonder whether it foreshadows God's future adoption of the Gentiles under the new covenant.
I am neither a theologian, nor a bible scholar, and after reading the bible for an hour and a half straight, I haven't exactly committed much time to processing this verse, but I'd be interested to know your insights on the scripture.