Scripture calls Christians “children of God,” “sons of God,” “heirs of God,” “heirs through God,” “heirs with Christ,” “heirs of the promise,” “heirs of the grace of life,” and “heirs of the kingdom.”
God’s heirs will “inherit the promises,” “inherit the blessing,” “inherit the kingdom,” “inherit the earth,” “inherit salvation,” and “inherit eternal life.”
Be honest. Has knowing this made your life any better?
There’s a fatal flaw that demolishes everything.
God’s goal is to redeem humanity. Ages ago He picked a people group through which to restore eternal life to the world. (He had to start with someone. Don’t be offended; He didn’t pick my ancestors either.)
The ultimate inheritance
In Biblical times the eldest son’s birthright was a double portion of the inheritance, any land holdings, and the authority as the father figure in the family.
God started with Abraham. In Genesis 12:1-3 He promised him an inheritance.
“Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Decades later it’s reaffirmed for Abraham’s son Isaac in Genesis 26:3-5.
“Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
It’s reaffirmed yet again for Abraham’s grandson Jacob in Genesis 28:10-22.
“I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
The stupidest man ever
Jacob had a twin brother, Esau, who happened to be a few seconds older than Jacob. Technically the birthright was his.
But Esau was a stupid, godless man. Jacob was Godly and smart, albeit not without his flaws. Hence his cunning procurement of Esau’s birthright in exchange for a bowl of soup. (Gen 25:28-34)
Sin makes you stupid.
Esau wasn’t famished as much as he hated his birthright. Which in this case was more associated with a spiritual heritage than it was wealth.
Esau hated God and His promises.
First come, first served
It was the custom back then that a soon-to-be-departing father would bless his children. It was a big deal because the blessing equated to a prophecy for the blessed!
The soon-to-be departing Isaac was actually tricked into blessing Jacob instead of Esau. Genesis 27:26-29 chronicles the blessing.
“May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!”
What did Esau end up with?
“Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from the dew of heaven on high. By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck.”
Don’t miss it!
The birthright and the blessing both have one important thing in common.
“[God] will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you [God] will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
“Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!”
By way of the birthright, and through the blessing, God would bless the entire world. All of us!
What’s in it for YOU
Lest you think all this “inheritance rhetoric” is a metaphor designed to offer a silver lining to the disappointments and mediocrity of life by promising a big payoff in the netherworld… think again!
Jacob’s birthright and blessing have been transferred to you through Jesus Christ to be enjoyed for real today!
There’s an incredible parallel in the Bible between Jacob and Esau’s birthright and blessing in the Old Testament, and our birthright and blessing in the New Testament.
First the birthright.
“Kingdom of God” occurs four times in Matthew (12:28; 19:24; 21:31; 21:43), fourteen times in Mark, thirty-two times in Luke, twice in John (3:3, 5), six times in Acts, eight times in Paul’s writings, and once in Revelation (12:10). Matthew uses “Kingdom of heaven” over 20 times in his gospel.
The kingdom of God is our inheritance, our birthright! The Beatitudes reveal who will inherit it, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 warns us who won’t.
Check out the blessing!
The soon-to-be-departing Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
God’s intends to bless the entire world through His people. What’s the blessing?
Call me Esau
The kingdom of God is the Christian’s birthright, and the Great Commission is our blessing.
Purpose, meaning, joy, fulfillment — all are found only in cherishing your birthright and living under the blessing: the kingdom of God and the act of bringing it to the world.
True abandon to God is being willing to surrender all for the sake of the blessing.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matt 13:44)
Where are your resources invested?
Don’t “despise your birthright” and lose your blessing — doomed to a life “away from the fatness of the earth” and “away from the dew of heaven on high” like Esau.
Maybe you’re not ready to abandon to God for the blessing of taking the gospel to the nations. What then?
I prayed that God would intensify that desire in me. It didn’t work.
Pray instead that the Spirit of God would work in you an realization of the magnitude of what God did in saving you.
Gratitude will give way to indebtedness. Duty to our debt should compel us to empty every ounce of value in our lives into making Redemption a reality in other’s lives.
You’ll become “broken bread and poured out wine,” nourishing the world — the ultimate fulfillment of God’s purpose for you, and the ultimate expression of your love for Him.