Genesis 25:34 - And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
I think we all know what a birthright is, right!? In most cases it is given to the firstborn child. It is a right, privilege, or possession. And it is a privilege.
This one part of our sermon Sunday became a focal point for my thoughts. Salvation is a right.
Esau's father Isaac gave him the birthright because he was firstborn, by minutes. Esau's twin brother was Jacob. The brothers were as different as night and day, as was suggested in the chapter when God told their mother Rebekah: ...“Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger." (Genesis 25:23)
Esau was, according to scripture, a wild man, an outdoorsman and hunter. Jacob was a mild man and liked being at home...living in tents. Or as I have read, he was most devoted to God and his family. Esau was described as ruddy and hairy where Jacob was fair. Isaac was more drawn to Esau while Rebekah to Jacob. Now don't start trying to come to any conclusions about Jacob! He was, despite this seemingly gentle nature, also a deceiver, which you can read further in Chapter 27.
One day Esau was out hunting and came home, ravenous. Jacob was cooking a pot of stew. Esau wanted some of that food...Jacob said he would give him some if he would sell his birthright (our first glimpse of deception). What an odd request. But Esau did just that...gave up his birthright all for a bowl of stew. He gave up all his rights to his inheritance. At that moment it meant absolutely nothing to him.
We can live most of our life never considering the fact that we have a Father in heaven who wants each one of us to receive a better birthright. Many people, including myself for a lot of years, thought absolutely nothing about He who gives this birthright.
Salvation is a right. If it weren't I don't think we'd see examples of inheritance in the Bible. But we do. It is important.
So, have you received the greatest birthright possible? If you have, do you take it for granted? If not, would you like to? We all can receive this inheritance. We will not receive a physical inheritance, nothing we can put our hands on today, but greater is our reward when we get to heaven. It takes no more than seriously receiving Christ. We ask Him to forgive us of our sins and trust and follow Him the rest of our days. It's that simple.
If we have given our lives to Christ, what are we willing to give up our spiritual birthright for? Popularity or prestige, money, addictions, lust? None of those things last after our last breath. But a spiritual birthright is forever.
I've said this a few times...not all people will go to heaven. It is a great myth many denominations have taught. Life doesn't just end and everyone goes to heaven. Our salvation was bought with a price. We need to get beyond taking the afterlife for granted. Without this inheritance, birthright, we cannot enter the kingdom of God.
I was at our church's youth retreat last week. It was the driving theme for the kids...we cannot be promised another day. Young people think they have their whole life ahead of them...some adults think the same. They think they can wait to give their lives to Christ if they even think that. But what if today was your last and you'd not given Jesus a second thought? What if I'm right? I can tell you things are different with Christ in a life. You have to experience it to understand. It takes a heart willing to bend and take in the truth.
God loves all people, but He has standards. If you are in your mind an upstanding person, honest, generous, kind, would you want to make friends with a criminal or murderer? You have your standards too. God is righteous and will only associate with righteous people. We can become righteous through Christ. It's the thing called being saved, born again, becoming a new man.
I've been listening to a sermon in my car on eternity. I am considering sharing some of the pastor's thoughts. It might make this thing called birthright, inheritance and salvation more of a desire.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name... ...lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. (John 1:12, Hebrews 12:16-17)