“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” (Hebrews 12:16)
“For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” (Hebrews 12:17)
In Genesis 36, the writer reveals that both Esau and Jacob were very rich men. “For their (Esau’s and Jacob’s) riches were more than that they might dwell together” (Genesis 36:7).
However, according to Hebrews 12:16-17, Esau was denied the highest blessing from his father, Isaac. The highest blessing was tied to the birthright of the first-born; and Esau was the first-born. Hebrews 12:16 reveals that Esau was a profane person “who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” That is, Esau was more concerned about physical things than spiritual things.
The birthright carried with it:
- The rank of priority;
- A double portion of the father’s inheritance;
- To receive the highest blessing from the father; and
- To become the priest of the family.
God’s Sovereignty was obviously at work here in the lives and destiny of these two men. The Everlasting Covenant, which God confirmed to Abraham and Isaac, was also confirmed to Jacob, and not Esau. (Review Genesis 12, 15, 17, 25, 27, 28, and 32.)
Romans 9:6-24 is the commentary on this matter; wherein the children of the flesh (represented by Esau) and the children of the Promise (represented by Jacob) had different physical and spiritual connotations. Both were sons of Isaac (or grandsons of Abraham). Both became very rich in physical wealth of this earth. But the major difference was in the spiritual end.
Esau represented Old Testament Israel. Jacob represented the Church, those who would receive the Blessing of the Holy Spirit in Christ (or Regeneration).
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:14)
“Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.” (Galatians 3:15)
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16)
“For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” (Galatians 3:18)
“But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (Galatians 3:22)
“But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.” (Galatians 3:23)
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:24)
“But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” (Galatians 3:25)
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26)
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)
As the reader of this devotion, you may be saying, “How does all of this apply to me?”
How it applies to you is – You may be thinking that earthly blessings equate to Spiritual Position, and they do not. If you re-read the story of Esau and Jacob (Genesis 25 – 50; Romans 9:6-24), you realize several things:
- Both were rich in this world’s goods.
- But they had entirely different view of the Inheritance.
- The perception by Jacob of the Birthright and the Blessing from his father was not by Jacob’s merits, but by the Sovereign Selection of God.
Read Romans 9:6-24. Jacob could not, and did not, make himself a Child of the Promise. In fact Jacob was a “deceiver” at first. And yet God’s Sovereign Will was at work in Jacob’s life.
See especially Genesis 28; at Bethel, on his way to his uncle Laban, where Jacob saw the vision of the ladder come down from heaven. Here God promised Jacob He would be with him at Laban’s and would bring him back home. Here He confirmed the Everlasting Covenant to Jacob. Here Jacob learned that this is God’s House and the Gate to Heaven. Here Jacob made a vow to tithe to God and to serve God.
Then see Genesis 32; Jacob is on his return from Laban’s (twenty years later). God met Jacob at Peniel and changed his name from Jacob to Israel, “…for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men…” (Genesis 32:28).
These two events are never recorded as happening to Esau. Their lives took two different directions. Esau and his posterity were great and mighty as Princes of the Land of Edom; whereas Jacob was great and mighty in Spiritual matters. Jacob saw the King Himself, “Shiloh” (Genesis 49:9-10), or Christ (Isaiah 2:2-3), the King of kings and Lord of lords; as he was a type of those who would receive the Regeneration of God the Spirit (Galatians 3:14, 16, 18; 4:1-7; Romans 8:14-16).
Reader, the question then to you is – What do you perceive? Do you look at the wealth, fame, etc. of this world as a proof of your position in Christ? Or do you know that…
- You have received the New Birth (John 3:3-8).
- You have the witness of the Holy Spirit that you are, not maybe, but are a Child of God; knowing that He is your Father; because you know Him as “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:14-16).
- You know you are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- You know that you seek heavenly things (Colossians 3:1-3).
- You know by your fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- You know because you are His disciple (follower) (Luke 14:26-33; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20).
- You know because you are seeking to know God, as the Apostle Paul did (Philippians 3:7-14).
Reader, Where are you? Where is your hope? In the world and its possessions and position? Or “Christ in you, the hope of glory”? (See Colossians 1:27)