The Despised Birthright
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way.
Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Most Christians and all Jews are familiar with what the Bible tells us about Jacob and Esau.
One wonders what might have been if it had been Jacob who despised his birthright. Of the twins,
it seems that Esau had the more noble character.
Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away
my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing." Then he said, "Have you not
reserved a blessing for me?"
The name Jacob means "usurper" or literally, "heel grabber." In this verse Esau accuses Jacob of
cheating him out of his birthright and his blessing, but according to Genesis 25:34, Esau despised
his birthright and practically gave it away in exchange for a pot of stew. He was incapable of
recognizing blessings because he despised his birthright.
We live today in a much different world, but human nature has not changed. Like Esau, there are
many who despise their birthright and sell it cheaply, give it away, squander it, gamble and lose
it, or trash it.
Man was created in God's own image. He was designed to be a child of God, to inherit eternal life
and the blessings of his eternal kingdom. Happily, there are some who, although equally depraved,
come to recognize the value of their birthright and seek God's forgiveness, blessings and that
which is promised them.
Human rights are mentioned in the US Constitution and said to be unalienable. The absolute rights
of individuals may be defined as 1) the right of personal security, 2) the right of personal
liberty, and 3) the right to acquire and own property. These rights are declared to be natural,
inherent, and unalienable rights, endowed us by our Creator. The founding fathers recognized the
fact that no man or government could make that offer. Every individual must grasp his or her own
In the 50 years since the Supreme Court legalized the slaughter of infants in Roe v. Wade, 60
million babies have been robbed of their birthright. That is a great tragedy and God will judge
the perpetrators and the nation for that evil. But the far greater tragedy, is the fact that
millions more Americans despise their own birthright.
My father used to say, "You have the whole world to make a living in. I can try to teach you how,
but you must do it yourself." That was his concept of my birthright. My mother saw it differently.
She read in the Bible (Deuteronomy 21:17) that the eldest son was to receive a double portion of
the inheritance. I was the oldest son among a dozen siblings, so she wanted to make note of this
in her testament. I suggested that she read the rest of the chapter. I was anything but a model
child and quite rebellious. That same text also demanded that my parents should have me publicly
I was not stoned, but I did receive a double portion of the inheritance. Two times zero is zero!
Some claim that they may someday seek God's forgiveness and join God's family.
They fear the consequences of their sins, but want to live their own selfish
lives as long as possible.
Few Americans would despise a human inheritance, yet many despise their eternal birthright,
exchanging it for trivial
and temporal pleasures.
Ralph V Harvey, 2013