And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.(Gen 50:24 KJV)
For some reason this scripture has always been intriguing to me. In the Scripture, the first born son is always the child who gets a special blessing. I could see how Abraham was the first born unto God through covenant. I could even rationalize how Isaac would be considered the first born to Abraham and Sarah even though he was the second born to Abraham. However, when it comes to Jacob it becomes more difficult to rationalize how he could be considered first born since he was clearly the second born. Jacob‚Äôs brother, Esau, was the first born‚Ä¶so it would only seem right for this scripture to have been written Abraham, Isaac and Esau.
If the first born is the son of special blessings, then it would behoove us to ask, what makes the first, first? Whatever the answer to that question is, it has a direct relationship to all of us today who are on this side of the cross. It is obvious this picture begins to clear up as we look at it in light of what Jesus did for us on the cross. It is not by birth that we are made first born but by rebirth.
In Jacob‚Äôs case, he was not only the second child to be born, but he was also a swindler and all around bad boy. Instead of serving his brother by sharing his food with him he swindled Esau out of his birthright due him as the first born son. The issue is not whether Esau deserved to lose his birthright or not, the issue is the wickedness in Jacob‚Äôs heart to want to swindle his brother out of his birthright in the first place.
In spite of all of Jacob‚Äôs dirty dealings, from this story we learn two very important lessons that would apply to us today. The first lesson we learn is that Jacob was desperate for the spiritual birthright of the first born, whereas Esau was desperate for natural food. The second lesson is that even though Jacob was born number two in his family, somewhere along the way he was reborn to be number one. This is evident when we see him bowing to his brother Esau in repentance for his dirty dealings. Because of his repentant heart, this could be the reason our text reads Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and not Abraham, Isaac and Esau.
I am the youngest of four siblings and yet there is no doubt in my mind that I have always had the rights and blessings of the first born. I have not done anything (as far as I know) to deserve the favor of God, yet I have it. That certainty does not mean that I have not had my share of trials, needs and disappointments‚ÄĒbut in spite of that I feel I am blessed. As Jacob was desperate for his brother‚Äôs birthright‚Ä¶I am desperate for the presence of God.
I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine who is extremely bright and gifted. I told him there was a big difference between him and me. I said you are more good than you are desperate‚Ä¶but I am more desperate than I am good. You can do a lot of things without God, but I can do nothing without God.
Because of Jesus Christ I am grateful that every born again believer has been given the birthright of the firstborn. With that birthright God can accomplish the miraculous through us.
Perhaps the scripture, ‚Äėthe first shall be last‚Äô is a perfect example of Jacob and Esau.
I thank you for the birthright of the first born. As a result of that gift you have made each of us your favorite child. Help us Lord to always be desperate for your presence as we walk by faith being led by the Holy Spirit.
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries