These were days when God spoke directly with men. What Jacob would pass on to his first born son was not something he owned, it was a privilege bestowed by God though the laying on of his hands. It was a privilege/blessing/honor that is transferred to the firstborn. It was privilege, responsibility, and spiritual power.
Had Esau treasured the privilege, we would be knowing the God of Abraham, Isaac, and
“And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau DESPISED his birthright. –Genesis 25:31-34 KJV
The word despised is a word that is used when a comparison is made; when a person is at a crossroad and has to make a decision. It is very similar to the word shame; when a person is faced with something Superior or receive to be better then what they now possess in their hand or in their possession. It’s like being a good boxer in a gunfight, you are ashamed or you despise your boxing career because you consider it useless, worthless in this situation.
WHAT’S THIS TO ME?
We are now told by the Spirit of God why that history of Esau and Jacob was recorded, and WHAT IT MEANS TO THE CHILDREN OF GOD.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children [of God], My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked [disciplined] of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator [a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire,] or profane [unholy] person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright [God given honor and privilege]. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have INHERITED THE BLESSING, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. [NOW, WHAT YOU STAND TO LOSE!] For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a TRUMPET, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly [spiritual/eternal] Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn [privileged by birthright], which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh [This trumpet call]. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: –Hebrews 12:2-3, 5-7, 15-18, 22-28 KJV
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
If we seek comfort and ease in this world and shamefully take off our Christian profession of faith in the Lord Jesus and our faithfulness to him when our comfort is threatened, we are despising a privilege the angels of heaven marvel to behold. WE HAVE TOO MUCH TO LOSE!
(Read all of Hebrews, especially chapters 11 and 12.)
Our example is Jesus (and the great cloud of witnesses in chp. 11) who “despised the shame” of suffering in this world because of faith in God’s promises. Picture this! The world stood by and watched Jesus cling only to faith in his Father, while his enemy had the power of death in his hand. In the world’s eyes Jesus had shamefully brought a butter knife to a nuclear war. Jesus however knew better! “He despised”, not his faith, but the idea of shame in his humiliation.
Note: Immediately after Esau sells his birthright, we see Jacob with that birthright encounter the God of his fathers:
“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
Genesis 28:12-17 KJV
“And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Genesis 32:28, 30 KJV
WHAT ARE THEY TEMPTING YOU TO SELL YOUR BIRTHRIGHT FOR?
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. –1 John 3:2 KJV