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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB January 11

Today’s One Year Bible (NLT) reading


25:34 Esau ate and drank and went on about his business, indifferent to the fact that he had given up his birthright. What does this mean exactly, giving up your birthright? Here is what the commentary says:

Esau's forfeited Birthright: What was the birthright, and why did Jacob want it? Passages like Deuteronomy 21:17 and 1 Chronicles 5:1-2 tell us the birthright involved both a material and a spiritual dynamic. The son of the birthright received a double portion of the inheritance, but he also became the head of the family and the spiritual leader upon the passing of the father. And, in the case of this family, the birthright determined who would inherit the covenant God made with Abraham, the covenant of a land, a nation, and the Messiah.

Was this unfair of Jacob? Certainly, he is acting like a "heel-catcher," as his name infers. He is being a trickster or a rascal in taking advantage of his brother. Jacob was guilty of scheming in the flesh to gain something God said was already his. Yet we should remember the far greater blame is placed on Esau, who despised his birthright.

Why did Esau sell out? "History shows that men prefer illusions to realities, choose time rather than eternity, and the pleasures of sin for a season rather than the joys of God forever. Men will read trash rather than the Word of God, and adhere to a system of priorities that leaves God out of their lives. Multitudes of men spend more time shaving than on their souls; and multitudes of women give more minutes to their makeup than to the life of the eternal spirit. " (Barnhouse)

So the birthright was not only in the material realm, but it was a spiritual blessing that Esau so callously and easily gave up for a lousy meal. In my opinion, I believe this is why Esau was "chosen" as an object of God's disdain ("Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated" Malachi 1:2-3). Even before he was born, God knew Esau would give up this birthright and that disqualified him from being worthy of it. After all, this was an eternal blessing for future generations because of God's promise to Abraham.

One item of interest, God had already promised Rebekah that her older son would serve her younger son, so the birthright was already designated for Jacob (25:23). Jacob would not have needed to trick his brother out of it, as it is something his brother could not have taken from him anyhow. Jacob forced the hand, assisted by his mother, but I believe God would have given it to him without the trickery if he had waited upon Him.

While we're on the topic, I believe that this (along with literally dozens of others that we'll discuss as we go) is one of the greatest evidences that you can willingly choose to give up your spiritual birthright, or your salvation. Not "lose" it per se (unknowingly) but willfully "sell" it for the pleasures of this world. I know this goes against the grain, but I have devoted a lot of time to studying this topic. If you want to read a more in depth article I wrote on this issue of giving up your spiritual birthright (salvation), please feel free to read "Can I lose My Salvation? " Feel free to disagree with me in writing, but only if you have sufficient biblical evidence AFTER reading through my entire article.

Edom: If you study Edom throughout the Bible, which are the descendants of Esau, you find some interesting connections. Edom was a nation that oppressed the Jews, and throughout the prophecies in the Old Testament, God promised to send a Messiah to rescue Israel from Edom. This is why Israel looked for and expected a warrior and mighty King to save them:

Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his clothing stained red (from waging victorious war and slaughtering Edom)? Who is this in royal robes, marching in the greatness of his strength?" It is I, the LORD, announcing your salvation! It is I, the LORD, who is mighty to save (Isaiah 63:1)!"

This is the very reason why the Jews did not believe Jesus was their Messiah, because as far as they could tell, He was not a mighty King. In fact, when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey for His triumphal entry, He gave a cultural sign: Kings who came in peace rode donkeys; kings who came for war rode horses. The Jews were waiting for a King to bring war, not a Prince of Peace on a donkey!

But here is the SO amazing thing. On Jesus' first appearance in the world, He appeared to come in peace to human eyes, but He actually came to win a bigger spiritual battle against a spiritual Edom-Satan and his kingdom. When Jesus died on the cross, He conquered the unseen spiritual realm with a much greater power than any earthly king. Secondly, the next time Jesus comes to earth, He will be riding a horse, making war with the earthly Edom, which many people believe will be represented by the anti-Christ! He will accomplish in the material realm what He already accomplished in the spiritual realm-total victory! Read Isaiah 34:8: For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, the year when Edom will be paid back for all it did to Israel. I also learned something powerful today, and that is the Hebrew word for "peace." Peace literally means, "God destroys the authority attached to chaos."

Here's another thought I had today: Before Jesus could make war with our enemies on earth, first He had to make peace with our enemy in Heaven! "You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault." Colossians 1:21-22

Here's a little known fact: Herod , the ruler who tried to kill Jesus when he had all the young boys killed in Israel was an Edomite!


8:29 ...You have no right to torture us before God's appointed time. What is "God's appointed time?"

34: Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone. Jesus just saved lives, and people are begging Him to leave them alone. Is it any different today?

Questions for personal reflection:

  • What are the "wind and waves" in your life currently that are causing great anxiety or fear? Why is Jesus "sleeping?"
  • What "spiritually dead" excuses are keeping you from following Jesus today?