Valuing Birthrights and Blessings

David Norczyk
6 min readJun 11, 2024

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The chosen people of God experience both affliction and discipline under the grace of God (Heb 12). Grace is the work of God that benefits His beloved unto salvation (Eph 2:8–9). The key to grace is that it is not of ourselves. God is willing and doing His good pleasure in each of His saints (Phil 2:13). He has planned and is performing all our works for us (Is 26:12; Eph 2:10); while He accomplishes all that concerns us (Ps 57:2; 138:8).

In Hebrews 12:14–17, we have the negative example of Esau, the older twin brother of Jacob, together the sons of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the believer and friend of God. Just as God established a unilateral covenant with Abraham (Gen 12, 15, 17); He renewed it with Isaac and Jacob. Yahweh by-passed both Ishmael and Esau.

Esau is notorious for his transaction with his brother (Gen 25). He sold his birthright, as the first-born son, for a bowl lentil soup. The scene finds Esau faint following a hunting trip. Jacob was shrewd to take advantage of the situation. The point of the whole exchange is that Esau did not value what God had afforded to him as the firstborn of Isaac.

Despising the grace of God is common among men. The natural man, void of the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17; 1 Cor 2:14), has no interest in the spiritual things, that is, the things of God’s Spirit (Heb 6:4–6). The natural man is unwilling and unable to please God by trusting in His provision (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 8:7).

Esau was a man of the world. He pursued whatever his flesh craved at any given moment. People whose heart and mind focus on satisfying the flesh will pursue whatever their sin nature demands in any given situation. Satisfying the flesh is a full-time job.

When the flesh prevails upon a person, it is to the neglect of the Spirit. The flesh and the Spirit are opponents (Gal 5:17). There is no conflict in this dichotomy for the natural man because he does not have the indwelling Spirit of Christ (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11). He loves the world; but he has no love for God in his heart (Jn 5:42). All the grace of God given to the child of God is despised by the worldly man (Jn 15:18–25; 1 Cor 1:18). The Spirit testifies of Christ; but it is foolishness to the unbelieving heart of those who love darkness and who practice evil deeds (Jn 3:19; Rom 13:14).

When the God of peace extends peace to His covenant people, it is the Spirit of Christ, the Prince of peace (Is 9:6), who brings peace to those who were formerly at enmity with God (Rom 5:9–10), being sons of rebel Adam. Not only do the chosen recipients of God’s grace receive the right to be called children of God (1 Jn 3:1); but they inherit the blessing of the covenant, too (Rom 8:17; 1 Pet 1:4). Esau was denied this by God (Heb 12:17).

Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. They are both granted to the converted soul by grace, alone (Acts 5:31; 11:18; Gal 3:22; Phil 1:29; Jude 1:3; 2 Pet 1:1). Stated another way, the recipient of the Spirit of Christ, by the will of God, turns away from the world of sin and unto faith in the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel.

The spirit of sin, which is lawlessness is far more powerful that the will of human flesh (1 Jn 3:4). Sin nature does what it loves to do…sin (Eph 2:3). Meanwhile, sin is killing every son of Adam (Rom 3:23; 6:23). It operates like a slow death cancer. The accumulation of sin embitters the dying man (Heb 12:15). It hardens the heart with its deceit (Ex 9:34; Heb 3:13). Satan blinds the minds of humanity to prevent the sons of Adam from seeing God and His Gospel (2 Cor 4:4).

To see and enter the kingdom of God, one must be born again, born of God, born of the Spirit, who regenerates the soul (Jn 3:1–8; Eph 2:5; Col 2:13; 1 Pet 1:3). The Holy Spirit makes the saint to be holy by His sanctifying work (1 Pet 1:2, 15–16). Holiness means one is set apart unto God, who sent His only begotten Son to make purification for sins (Heb 1:3). By His free will and gracious choice (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 11:5), God decides to make a people for His own possession (Ps 100:3; Titus 2:14; 1 Pet 2:9). He opens our blind eyes and transplants our hardened hearts (Ezek 36:26; Jn 9).

The man made new is in union with the second Adam (Jesus). Christ Jesus is the firstborn of all creation (Col 1:15). In other words, Jesus is heir of all things (Heb 1:2). Believers in Jesus, having been adopted into the family of God (Rom 8:15, 23; Eph 1:4–5), have become co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17), of an inheritance reserved for us in heaven (1 Pet 1:4), where Christ is seated on the throne of God (Eph 2:6; Heb 1:3; 8:1; 12:2).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3). Just as Jacob sought both the birthright of his brother and the blessing of his father, Isaac, so we, too must value Christ. He alone possesses the birthright and only in Him is one blessed.

Yahweh, the God of Jacob, put it in the heart of one man to value what God values and to love God in response to His love poured out in him (Rom 5:5; 1 Jn 4:19). God loved Jacob (twin brother of Esau) before he was born to Rebekah (Rom 9:13a) God hated Esau (twin brother of Jacob) before he was born to Rebekah (Rom 9:13b). Esau was rejected by God and this manifested with Esau’s unbelief and immoral disobedience throughout his life (Heb 12:17).

Esau, Cain, and Judas Iscariot all remind us to fear the Lord, to walk humbly with our God, because sin is crouching at the door ready to deceive and harden us (Gen 4:7). Truly, the godless people of this world have no hope because they are without God (Eph 2:12).

The godly man, like Jacob in his later encounter with Esau, pursues peace with all men (Heb 12:14). The godly person is vulnerable in a world of ungodliness. He may suffer much at the hands of the ungodly, but he is greatly blessed (Mt 5:10–12). He knows he is nothing before God; but he is in the kingdom of heaven by the Spirit. He mourns his sinful penchant and that of sinners all around the world. The comfort the godly man derives from God the Spirit and God’s Word is priceless.

Unlike Esau, the godly man hungers and thirsts for right standing with God (Mt 5:6). He is satisfied with what God’s grace provides for him in this life; and He waits on the promise of that which is to come. It is the Spirit who illumines the eyes of the believer’s heart to see that God in Christ is our all in all (2 Cor 4:6; Eph 1:18). He has purified our hearts that we may see God in Christ and all things that are revealed by Him.

The tears of the saints will be wiped away when our sorrow is turned to joy (Rev 7:17; 21:4). The tears of the reprobate and their self-pity will extend from this life and continue with gnashing of teeth in the next (Lk 13:28). Therefore, today, let us hold fast, rejoicing in the birthright of Christ, the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18; Rev 1:5), in whom we are beneficiaries, and in whom innumerable blessings have been secured because He alone is the faithful covenant keeper.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

June 11, 2024

Hebrews 12:14–17

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher