Summary: A look at the decision by Esau to trade his birthright for a momentary craving and the our tendancy to do the same.
29, January 2006
Dakota Community Church
A Dinner or Your Destiny
Genesis 25: 27-35
The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.
Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright."
"Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"
But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.
1. What is the birthright?
In short your birthright is everything you were meant to be in God, everything you are entitled to be in God.
Philippians 3:15-16 (The Message)
So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision--you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
Your birthright includes such things as:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
In Esau’s case the birthright was his place in the lineage of Christ.
He was entitled to a double portion of his father’s inheritance.
2. Am I under valuing my birthright?
“See that no one is godless like Esau.”
What did Esau do here that was so serious?
Jewish scholars have almost no mercy on him.
Hebrews 12: 16 (KJV)
Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Profane comes from the Greek word (Strong’s - 953) beb-ay-los which means from the base or to cross the threshold.
In the Hebrew culture there are two realms, the sacred and the common.
To profane something is to take something sacred and reduce it to common status.
- The birthright of the first born is sacred.
- This is why we are not to use profanity. It is usually something sacred that we reduce to common status.
- Sex is sacred.
- Marriage is sacred.
- The temple of the Holy Spirit is sacred.
- Life is sacred.
There is no Bible verse that says not to smoke up. There is no command not to watch 5 hours of TV a day. There is no command not to waste away your life playing video games or shopping.
What there is throughout scripture is this sense of meaning and purpose to everyday of life. A sacredness that should not be reduced to a mere common state.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
When we say no to God or remove ourselves from His plan, we are underestimating the birthright.
- Moses – I cannot speak
- Gideon – I am from a family of losers.
- Isaiah – I am unworthy
- Jeremiah – I am too young
- Peter – I have unclean lips