Jacob and Esau. Their names evoke memory of the Sunday School story of Old Testament twins (of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lineage). Jacob the younger, whose name meant deceiver, and Esau the eldest, who was starving after a hunting trip. In that state of being, Esau did a very foolish thing. He sold his birthright to his brother to satiate his momentary hunger. The rest, as they say, is history…
What is it about a birthright that had the power to change the course of history that affects us today?
Had they known, would they each have made different choices? Good question. We are not so different from Jacob and Esau who operated from their flesh and not their design. They had to learn what they did not know.
But God knew. And whether we realize it in the moment of our choices or not, it is His will and covenant promise that will prevail. The essence of who He is will not allow Him to remain angry forever. We would be in a hopeless place these ancient years later if God’s Agape love took a backseat to His anger with His creation.
Even now, in this age of grace and season of mercy, He desires that we come to understand His design of us so we may each live toward fulfillment of our birthright. The redemptive gifts are key, for knowing our redemptive gift(s) and living from our birthright is like spiritual twins joined at the hip, with outward expression that christens who we are.
God is passionate about upholding His promises, not keeping record of past wrongs. With Him, an anger-lasting moment, but His lifetime-lasting favor.
For His anger lasts only a moment,
but His favor, a lifetime.
Weeping may spend the night,
but there is joy in the morning.
Psalms 30:5 (hcbs)
He held true to Who He is with Jacob and Esau and their generations. He does no less with us today.
A revealing of our Spiritual DNA
Each of us has been given a birthright, which in simplest terms is a revealing of our spiritual DNA. To glimpse how intimately God has woven Himself into who we are should produce something of wonder. Miracles of His creative power and love, we are capable of redemptive living through Christ and missing the mark through sin and sinful responses to wounding, in areas and ways we have not embraced God’s redemptive purposes for our life.
To struggle with God’s love for us and others (and ours for Him and others) makes it difficult to perceive our birthright, let alone fulfill it. We may experience success, yet come to the end of life never having fulfilled our design.
Esau forfeited his birthright, while Solomon had both the resources and the wisdom to fulfill his God-given birthright. Had he made God known throughout the world (which was within his design, resources, and placement in his generational lineage to do) over satisfying his desires instead of his design, his life would not have ended in frustration and futility. Vanity without fulfillment. Solomon, the wisest of humanity, left us a sad postscript.1
Understanding our birthright – the uniqueness of who God made us to be and what He made us to do – sets us on a path we did not choose for our own feet, but which draws us on compelled by His love and sense of purpose He instills within. In the midst of seeing only in part, God throws in joy on the journey.
the original masterpiece remains
Given this talk of design and joy, resources and birthright, it would be easy to assume that sin, pain, and suffering in our world – and our lives – is being overlooked at best and denied at worst. In a non-redemptive living sort of way, that can and may be true. That is not, however, God’s plan for His blueprint. As believers, God desires to give us eyes to see and ears to hear that beneath the distortion, defilement, and discouraging effects all around, the original masterpiece remains.
We have heard stories of priceless original artwork of the Masters discovered beneath layers of paint – garish, subtle, or striking. Regardless of what was laid over the original, there was a treasure concealed. Covering it over wasn’t sufficient to deny its existence; rather, its discovery revealed an opportunity to restore the design.
fulfilling our birthright occurs
- when we discover (and uncover) who we are,
- as we worship God through the pursuit of the birthright He has given us, and
- in the enjoyment of life in God, as we ask and allow Holy Spirit to reveal in and through us the spiritual DNA imprinted within
Master Designer that He is, He is a God of design, wisdom, and revelation. To those who seek Him early (with diligence and earnestness), He has promised He will be found (to be present, acquired, appear).2
The fulfilling of our birthright is not a one-time endowment. It is the revealing of the redemptive gifts of our design with a pouring in of understanding and subsequent redemptive living flowing out. Like a river flows …
1 Ecclesiastes 12:7,8
2 Proverbs 8:17 (Strong’s Hebrew notations)
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