“Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats.
“You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.
“You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.
- Exodus 22:29-31
“Cursed is anyone who dishonors their father or mother.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
- Deuteronomy 27:16
The first Scripture talks of giving of the firstfruits. This goes across the board. For animals and children, they are ‘given’ on the eighth day. Until then they stay with their mother. Of course, the circumcision is done for boys on the eighth day. This verse is not condoning human sacrifice, but that sacrifice is definitely what is intended for the firstfruits of the animals.
Some of this attachment to ‘mother’ in this first Scripture is for the newborn’s nourishment, but also for their protection. The humans may not think of it that way, but the animal kingdom seems to have that motherly instinct to protect.
The other day, I had just taken my wife to dialysis, and I was doubling back along the path I had taken. It was about dawn. Some might use the word gloaming, which is usually reserved for the evening. In other words, you needed headlights on the road, but you could see to walk around and the sun had not peeked over the ridge line yet.
I turned onto a back road, and I saw something moving. I hit the brakes about the same time I saw a deer jump in front of me. The doe stopped there, staring at me. As I focused on the large doe, I again saw the movement I had seen before. The doe was between me and a fawn. The doe would occasionally look over her shoulder into the wild area where the human resident had not mowed next to the road. Otherwise, it was a staring contest between the doe and me. After about three glances over her shoulder, I noticed what she was looking at and why she was on guard. Another fawn finally caught up with its sibling and mother. With the entire family back together, they all went to the far side of the road. It was just in time as the car that approached from the other direction did not look like he saw the deer, zooming by.
I drove only 100 yards (meters) when I reached a stop sign. Just beyond the stop sign was a wild turkey, a hen. She stepped onto the road and a couple of her young poults (young turkeys) did also. The mother saw me and darted back into a similar un-mowed area between another person’s yard and the road. The two little ones followed. But as I looked into the person’s yard, there were two more hens and about a dozen poults.
The formation of the turkeys reminded me of a military patrol. The one hen was the point. If there was danger ahead, the point would signal the others to stop or change course. The second hen guided the main body of the patrol. And the third hen was the rearguard. If danger approached from behind, the rearguard performed the same function as the point, but the reaction would be to get moving quickly.
I had no one behind me, so I watched as the turkeys were adjusting their formation, not wanting to do anything until I committed myself. I drove down the road, thinking about how these animals might have to have harsh object lessons by have siblings or parents killed on the highway, but when they understand the danger, it is already programmed within them to protect their young.
Too bad many humans do not get that one right.
Our Father in Heaven sets the right example, but many people ignore Him. He promises that everything works to the good for those who love the Lord. It may not feel good at the time, but God is faithful.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.