FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

BIRTHRIGHT AND BLESSING

STUDY -

The Bible is full of pictures of blessings; blessings sought, blessings promised, blessings deliberated, and blessings received. The idea of blessings establishes the simple principle of a benefactor and a recipient (in some cases a mediator).

 

BIRTHRIGHT

One of the earliest forms of blessings elaborated on in the scriptures is that of a birthright. What is unique about the express teaching concerning a birthright is that it is inseparable from the additional development of the firstborn! In the scriptures the eldest son, first to be born to the father, is due a double portion of inheritance and the right to bear the families name and other privileges.

 

Scripture also teaches us that a birthright can be lost due to sin!

Hebrews 12:16-17 “lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”

 

 

The origin of the practice of the birthright is not truly disclosed; however due to the recording of this practice first during the Patriarchal dispensation, we can deduce that they received it from God, as it was God directing them.

Once the Law of Moses would come to the children of Israel, the development of the birthright becomes a legal distinction. Because of the practice of polygamy, in opposition to the original intent of marriage, it was also necessary to protect the firstborn status in case a father loved another wife better, note:

Deuteronomy 21:15-17 “If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, and if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved, 16 then it shall be, on the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons, that he must not bestow firstborn status on the son of the loved wife in preference to the son of the unloved, the true firstborn. 17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.”

 

Another distinction associated with the firstborn would also be developed for the nation of Israel, in the consecration of all the firstborn to God (Man, animal, and crop).

Exodus 22:29-31 “You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me. 30 Likewise you shall do with your oxen and your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me.
31 “And you shall be holy men to Me: you shall not eat meat torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.”

 

As we now see the significance of the firstborn and the birthright in the Old Testament, we can move forward to note the significance in the New Testament. Although the term birthright is only used in the passage of Hebrews; as we have already read as to the sinful loss of Esau's birthright; the concept of blessing the firstborn is something the New Testament illustrates often.

The Christ of God is described by the inspired authors of the New Testament as “the Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20 , 23); “The Firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15); “The Firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18); But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “ Let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Hebrews 1:6). These are a rendering of a few places where the significance of the firstborn is used for blessing.

 

To us as Christians, the most important consideration concerning the birthright of the firstborn can be seen in the overflow of benefit to those who through obedience to the Gospel of Christ (literally being baptized into Christ and putting on Christ – Galatians 3:27), are also the recipients of the birthright of Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”

Romans 8:29 “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Galatians 4:6-7 “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

 

BLESSING

As Isaac grew old and prepared to die, he instructed Esau to go and kill game, to make him food so that he could bless him (Genesis 27:1-40). As the story goes, Jacob stole the blessing.

The practice of blessing the older son apart from the birthright seems to be primarily confined to those in the direct line of the promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:4-21; 18:18; 22:18); then Isaac (Genesis 26:4), and then Jacob (Genesis 28:14). It seems that godly men under inspiration (as recorded in scripture for posterity), blessed the offspring in this prophetic line (Genesis 49:1-28).

After this, we only see this practice used in this form used by God to continue to bless and or enhance this lineage (David – 2 Samuel 7:12-17) up to Jesus as the Son of God.

Matthew 3:17 “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 17:5 “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

 

Once again the importance of this blessing offered in the lineage of the promises made to Abraham is brought forward to you and me as Christians.

Galatians 3:26-29 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

 

Conclusion

As Esau stands for all time as one who failed to appreciate his birthright and blessing, even though he would regret it after it was too late; we as Christians must avoid this same profane weakness.

To value the birthright and blessing in Christ as to lay hold of it with such great fear of loss, that no one can pry it away from us!

Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”