Monday, August 24, 2009

Esau's Birthright

In the Bible there is the story of Esau, the eldest son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob (Israeal.) One day, Esau was particularly hungry so he sold his birthright, or gave his birthright to his brother, for a mess of pottage.
In order to understand the significance of this story we must first look at what a birthright is. A Father's posessions, land, gold, etc. would be divided into the sum of the children plus one. So if a man had 2 children, as in this case, the posessions would be divided by three with the extra portion going to the son with the birthright. Esau stood to inherit two thirds of his father's possessions and his brother would get one third. With this extra inheritance came added responsiblility; the birthright child was also to assume the leadership of the family upon the death of the father.
It is never fully explained the reasoning behind Esau's choice; He said he was "at the point of death." But for what ever reason, Esau did not hold his birthright in high enough regard or think it important enough, because to him, it was only worth a mess of pottage. Maybe he did not want to take upon himself the added responsibility. We do not completely know. But this we do know - His choice affected not only himself but also the rest of his posterity. Because, with the birthright also came the covenant blessing.

We as Americans have been given a Birthright as well. It comes in the form of the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and The Declaration of Independence. It is Freedom. Freedom, like the Abrahamic Covenant is a gift from God. This gift, as believed by the foundering fathers is an unalienable right given to all men. However, it is the general rule throughout history that these rights of men have been taken away or denied to man by unrighteous leaders, by kings, dictators, and tyrants. The Founding Fathers though, endeavored to make these rights protected to the American people. Unfortunatly we, like Esau, can sell our birthright for a mess of pottage. We can give our freedom and our rights away. But why would we do such a thing?Maybe we don't want the added responsiblity. Protecting our rights is a responsility and it takes work and study and diligence. A free people must also take responsiblity for themselves. Sometimes it is easier to let someone of something take care of us. We may sell it through apathy or through fear. We may sell our birthright because we don't value it or we may trade it for a handout.
But these choices do not only effect us but generations to come. And just as we look back at the foolishness of Esau, our decendats will look at us and and question why. Why did you throw away your God given birthright for a mess of pottage? Our excuses will sound as silly to them as Esau's does to us.

1 comment:

  1. Bill, I like your blog! I just finished reading a few posts. I especially like the video about Native American Health Care. Its kind of scary everything that is happening right now in our government.