And Jacob said, “Sell me this day thy birthright.”
And Esau said, “Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?”
And Jacob said, “Swear to me this day”; and he [swore] unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and [stew] of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.” ~ Genesis 25:29-34
The Birthright was the privilege to be the one through which God would enact/deliver the promise He had made to Abraham to establish a holy nation/people. As the firstborn son, Esau was to inherit The Birthright when his father died. In selling his Birthright, he relinquished that privilege to Jacob.
Believers also have a Birthright: God has promised to establish His kingdom through us: He has made us heirs of His kingdom (James 2:5) and He has commanded us to teach others the truth so that they can become heirs too (Matthew 28:18-20). Our Birthright is God working through us to do His will and accomplish His purposes. Our Birthright becomes available when we first accept/confess the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus as the way to our salvation.
POINTS TO PONDER
- For Esau, The Birthright (the privilege of God working through him to establish a holy nation) was not priceless. There was a situation in which he would be willing to sell his Birthright.
- For Esau, present physical need was more important than future spiritual gain.
- Esau was unwilling to die for The Birthright.
- For Jacob, Love/Loyalty was not priceless. He traded his relationship with Esau to get his way. Jacob valued and wanted The Birthright, and was willing to exploit his brother’s weakness to get it.
- Jacob lacked faith and patience. God had already set the Birthright aside for Jacob (Genesis 25:23), He just had to wait on God’s timing and God’s way. But Jacob chose to do things in his time and in his way.
- For Jacob, future gain was more important than present loyalties.
- Both Esau and Jacob behaved badly, but Jacob was right about the (value of the) Birthright: Jacob chose God, Esau rejected God.
QUESTIONS to QUARRY
► What could make you sell your birthright? What could make you trade God’s will to satisfy a hunger?
► When a believer sells his birthright, can he/she get it back? (See 1 John 1:9 for the answer.)
► How important is your Birthright in Jesus to you? Are you willing to suffer hunger for it? Are you willing to faint to keep it? Are you willing to die for it?
► Are you willing to wait on God? Are you willing to do things God’s way and in God’s time? Does God move too slowly? Is God ever late?
► Who are you willing to hurt to get your way? Who are you willing to hurt to get what you want, when you want it?