Thursday, February 11, 2010

Birthright Be Damned

Birthright Be Damned
Nov 16, 2009
2 Timothy 2:12 "If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us."

Many, many, years ago, the oldest son in a family received the first and largest inheritance, or birthright. The inheritance meant the rights to, not only wealth, but also the right to lead the family after dad was gone, the right to become the patriarch. The oldest son had the most cherished position, as he could direct the ever increasing family wealth, and be able to pass that along to his own son someday. Nowadays, brothers and sisters just take each other to court and sue for their equal share, but that's not how it has always been. A birthright was an important thing, an honored and respected tradition. Twins, Jacob and Esau knew this. Or, should I say, Esau and Jacob, as Esau was the oldest by just a few minutes.

Esau and his brother had a love/hate relationship. Of course they loved each other because they were twins, but they were always challenging each other, vying for their parents' approval. Esau and Jacob were favored by their parents differently, which cost some affection from one or the other at times, and then there was the birthright. Esau was set to get the first birthright, the blessed inheritance. This caused envy and a division between the men. One day, Esau came in from a hard day's work and was ravenously hungry. Jacob had a bounty of food prepared and knew Esau was hungry. Instead of doing the brotherly-love-thing and offering Esau some food, Jacob offered to sell his table of food to Esau in exchange for Esau's birthright as the oldest. Esau made a poor decision and agreed. Esau sold away the rights to h is larger inheritance. It was shameful that Jacob would try to take the birthright, but it was an embarrassment for Esau to throw it away so foolishly. By his actions, Esau was essentially saying, "My birthright be damned."

Here is why that statement is true.

Today, you and I are the "first born among men," children of the Living God. We ALL, as Christians, have the birthright of the firstborn, the blessed inheritance of salvation, eternity in Heaven with Christ. You either have the blessed inheritance or nothing; there is no second share or alternative inheritance in God's kingdom. It is either eternal salvation or damnation in Hell. If you do not choose to have and keep the rights of the firstborn, you are damning yourself to Hell. Esau's decision to sell his birthright is a warning to us today. Your salvation is something to be cherished, something to be valued and protected. If you do not value your birthright as firstborn, your inheritance of eternity in Heaven with Christ, then you might make a rash decision someday when you are in a weakened state, like Esau, and lose your salvation.

The temptations of this world are great and they could cause you to forfeit your rights to your inheritance in Heaven. If you do not cherish your birthright, when you are tempted and in a weakened state (and you WILL be tempted), you might make the same mistake Esau made. Someday, you may make a decision in this life that says, "My birthright be damned." When you see the shiny things this world has to offer, you might put your hand out and take hold of them. You might partake in the sinful desires of the flesh, forsaking your salvation forever, damning yourself to Hell.

I don't know what that road to forsaking your birthright could look like for you, but I can guarantee it will include a gradual decline, a deception occurring over a thousand crooked smiles. Surely, if Satan jumped out with his big red horns and pointy pitch fork and said, "Serve me and come to Hell," you would be wise enough to decline. But if you lied at work today, which promoted your own selfish ambition, you just took one step closer to damning your birthright in Heaven. If you value and cherish your birthright, then you will be on guard against every gradual step to damning it away, every temptation of this world. Then, when in a weakened state, instead of making a foolish decision like Esau, you can say, "Nothing in this world is worth my place in Heaven with Christ."

1. How cherished is your salvation in Heaven?
2. How have you been tempted to walk away from your birthright?
3. How can you maintain your eyes on that birthright, in all things?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Gen 25, Matt 16:26, Mark 8:36, Luke 9:25, Rom 6, Gal 1:6, Gal 5:1, Gal 5:4, 1 Tim 4:1

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