In the book of Exodus, the Lord instructs Moses that when a woman’s first-born child is a boy, a special sacrifice is given. Actually, this applies not only to human beings but to animals as well. The men were dedicated to God (but redeemed), the animals were all to be sacrificed. This was to recall the manner in which the Hebrews were freed from Pharaoh’s captivity, which included the death of all first-born males in Egypt where the families were not properly prepared.
So this practice continued to the time of our Lord’s. At forty days after His birth, his family traveled to Jerusalem to make the appropriate offering. In their case, they did not have a great amount of money, so they offered two doves. How amazing, the condescension of our Lord! Not as a king or a ruler, but as a poor, lowly carpenter’s son did the Lord of all appear.
Think about that. We are trained to recognize quality things when we see them. Many of us can tell the difference between diamonds and cubic zirconium. You can tell the difference between a Mercedes and a Trabant.
Yet, there is old and wise Simeon, the prophet who was told that he would not die until he saw the messiah come. His eyes were keenly steeled, not to see the things that the world values, but rather to see the glory of God. He saw through the poverty and the lowliness that was Christ and His family. He ignored the things the world valued and he saw his Lord!
We need to learn to see with holy Simeon’s eyes. We need to care less about the things that the world holds dear, and learn to cherish the things that God Himself has brought before us to revere. Only then will we truly be able to behold the glory of God; only then will we find ourselves worthy to be partakers of His divine nature.