Spoken Prayer – Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
For more help use this Bible Study method
God's Promises and Your Birthright
by Pastor Jeff Morlock
People who have never read through the Bible may be surprised to discover that it’s not at all what they expected. The Bible is full of people who fight, deceive, steal, murder, and commit adultery, leading many to bemoan that Scripture does not give us great examples to follow. Exactly. It gives us one example. It points us to Christ, who works out his divine plan through ordinary, sinful human beings. Which brings us to Jacob and Esau.
Despite issues of infertility, God delivered on His promises of offspring to their grandparents, Abraham and Sarah as well as to their parents, Isaac and Rebekah. But in this third generation of the promise, things begin to get dicey. The twin boys in Rebekah’s womb are already at odds with one another, and she can sense it. So Rebekah prays to God for help. Yes, her sons will be at odds with each other, the Lord says. But this will not thwart God’s plan or stop God’s promises! The Lord will establish his holy people and keep his word, even though it will mean the older brother serving the younger.
If the story of Abraham were solely in the hands of his family, the book of Genesis and the Bible itself would be a lot shorter. But the story is in God’s hands. Your story, my story, and the world’s story are in God’s hands, too! If you believe that, then how do you respond to setbacks and disappointments? Do you resist the urge to settle for a quick fix? Esau sold his forever birthright for a bowl of stew, quickly consumed.
The birthright conveyed upon the eldest son both inheritance and leadership of the family (the father’s authority). This is what Jesus had and has from God the Father. It’s what he died to give us. Baptized into Christ, we inherit all the blessings and benefits of the kingdom! They are ours by faith. And we are Christ’s by faith. If it weren’t for Jesus, we would all go the way of Esau, trading down our joys, and God’s best. But by grace, we look to him and trust his unfailing promises.
In prayer, consider: in what specific ways are you too easily pleased with the things of this world? What promises of God do you most need to count on this week and what desires do you need to let go of?