Tag Archives: Birthright

Judges 6; Acts 10; Jeremiah 19; Mark 5

But Peter said, “No, Lord! I have never eaten food that is unholy or unclean.”

But the voice said to him again, “God has made these things clean, so don’t call them unholy!” Acts 10:14-15 (NCV)

He said, “You people understand that it is against our law for Jewish people to associate with or visit anyone who is not Jewish. But God has shown me that I should not call any person ‘unholy’ or ‘unclean.’ Acts 10:28 (NCV)

Peter began to speak: “I really understand now that to God every person is the same. In every country God accepts anyone who worships him and does what is right. You know the message that God has sent to the people of Israel is the Good News that peace has come through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lord of all people! Acts 10:34-36 (NCV)

Interestingly enough, my husband and I were recently discussing whether or not God redeems what is considered ‘unholy’ by man.

Our oldest daughter was given kolusu, sterling silver anklets with little bells on them, by her uncle according to Indian custom. Though she didn’t wear them much in the US, she has been wearing them non-stop since we arrived back in India, which is great because I can locate her much easier when she is playing. I mentioned today that I would like to also get a pair for our younger daughter, to help stimulate her desire for walking, and maybe even a simpler pair for myself (I always loved the idea of wearing anklets).

My husband continued the conversation by saying that these anklets are not only an Indian custom, but also a Hindu tradition, allowing one of the gods to enjoy the sounds of the bells and to also keep the devils away. I countered by expressing my belief that God is the creator of bells and what the enemy may try to steal for his purposes is redeemed again by God. Our exchange ended with a “to be continued.”

I was impressed today by Peter’s understanding of the redemption in Christ in regards to people, concerning the laws of Moses. It is so easy for me to judge someone based on external appearances, customs, behaviors or choices that differ from my own. It is easy for me to deem something ‘unclean’ or ‘unholy’ because my opinion differs; and it is easy for me to throw random, out of context Bible verses at the ‘problems’ to try and make them go away or change. But my judgments of things is not God’s judgment of things; and it is not even my role to make judgment in the first place (James 4:11-12; Romans 2:1-4).

Jesus exemplified this revolution by consistently associating with those that the people and the law considered ‘unholy’ and ‘unclean’-tax collectors, homosexuals, lepers, prostitutes…the demon possessed, diseased individuals like the woman with the issue of blood, and those who had died-all those walking in sin, no matter how big or how small the sin.

He wasn’t concerned with their current state of uncleanness. He knew that their personal experiences of His Agape love would change their hearts forever. He knew that He was planting seeds in their hearts for the future. He knew they were simply diamonds in the rough. He knew that they were children of God who had not yet realized their true identity, and therefore had not yet been ‘cleansed’.

Christ’s sacrifice on the cross changed everything. He brought redemption and restoration of hearts into countless lives. His resurrection, His gift of grace fulfilled the law and made holy what was once unholy through belief in Him. What an amazing inheritance, what an incredible birthright for God’s sons and daughters, those who know Him personally, and those whose eyes have yet to be opened.

Yesappa, Open the eyes of my heart and allow Your love to enter in a deeper way, Your agape love for Your people, the redeemed and those who have yet to give themselves to You. Help me walk in love and not judgment. Give me Your compassion for Your children and help me bring Your Light into their lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, Judges, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament

Genesis 25, Matthew 24, Esther 1, Acts 24

Scripture

Genesis 25:19-34  (NKJV) 19 This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian. 21 Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?|” So she went to inquire of the LORD.

23 And the LORD said to her:
      “Two nations are in your womb,
      Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
      One people shall be stronger than the other,
      And the older shall serve the younger.”

24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau.[a] 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob.[b] Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.[c]

31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”

32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”

33 Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.”

So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Application

Wow…the more times I read through this specific passage, the more times I find example after example in my own life that resonated with what transpired here.  Truthfully…how many times have I willing sold what was bestowed upon me, just to have the satisfaction of attaining an immediate desire?  The sad reality of the answer to that question, is that numbers could not contain it.

If I step back, I can acknowledge that my personality is one that’s always looking for what’s next, is always planning how to get there and just about always uses persistence as a tool to make it happen.  This part of me has a great many benefits, but one of the problems with this characteristic, is that when I get distracted by some new venture, goal or endeavor…my pursuit follows just like a tail follows a kite.  And while sometimes that venture, goal or endeavor isn’t necessarily bad…it might also not be what I was made to do (or be) as designed by God.

Esau was a man of impulse…a man of action…and a man of the here and now.  And because of that, the significance he placed in his birthright was not properly held in high regard.  I was a bit puzzled by this, so I did some additional research about Esau and found that he was a man made by his own means.  He worked, he hunted, he provided and he was raging with an independent heart.  Discovering this began to show me that Esau probably had a difficult time even understanding the concept of a “birthright”…the only “rights” he was familiar with, were one’s he earned through his own hard determined work.  It wasn’t that he didn’t want the birthright…he probably just couldn’t conceptualize the very nature of such a thing or what a great honor it was to have it bestowed upon him.

This, unfortunately, is the battleground I often find myself in.  It’s not that I have a hard time accepting what Christ did for me on the cross…this I have assurance of…but instead, it’s with the blessings he bestows upon me on a daily basis.  The dichotomy of it is that I can quickly reflect on endless numbers of blessings God has given me for the simple reason that I am His son…but at the same time, I can also find endless numbers of times where I have instead sabotaged blessings from God by choosing the immediate feel-good binge of the day.

The God breathed reminder into my own life which has come from this passage, is that I need to constantly be on the watch for the many Jacobs nipping at my heels to dethrone the birthright God has bestowed upon me…despite my Esau personality.  I am uniquely and wonderfully made by God.  His plan, purpose and desire for my life should never be replaced with the temporary feel good desire of the now.

~Dave

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Filed under Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan