Esau Sold His Birthright
by Terry Broome
The letter to the Hebrew Christians is a plea for them to remain faithful to Christ. First, the writer charges them, Hebrews 2:1, 3 1 “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip… 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; …” Through neglect, it would be possible for the Hebrews to fall into condemnation.
Next, the author makes it clear that it is possible for a saved person to fall short of the prize. After reminding them of the Israelites who failed to enter into the promised rest in the land of Canaan, the writer charges Christians in Hebrews 4:11 – “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
In Hebrews 10:26-27, they are reminded, 26“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”
Remaining faithful to the Lord is next compared to finishing the race that we have begun. We are charged to lay aside sins that can weight us down, Hebrews 12:1-2a ( KJV ) 1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. . .”
There is danger that one may “fail of God’s grace.” The case of Esau is used as a warning to Christians. He had a birthright, as do we, in the Lord, Hebrews 12:14-17 ( KJV ) 14Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Esau chose the sensual over the spiritual. He gave in to the cravings of his hunger – Gen 25:29-34. He valued the red pottage (stew) more highly than his birthright. Today, Christians are heirs according to the promise made to Abraham – Galatians 3:29 (KJV) 29 “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” We are joint-heirs with Christ – Romans 8:16 – 17 (KJV) 16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
Are We Selling Our Birthright?
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.