Tonight we were reading about Esau losing his birthright and his blessing to his younger brother, Jacob. It’s an interesting story in the Bible that initially, we could not see the meaning of as a group tonight. But as we investigated and the women in our group looked into it further, we started to understand the deeper meaning and I think it was a very interesting discussion.
In the Jewish culture, birthright was everything. If you were first born, you were entitled to leadership and inheritance, etc. Isaac and Rebekah had twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau was the older of the two and was therefore entitled to everything that would belong to a firstborn son. Despite all that he was entitled to, he gave it all up one day simply because he was hungry. Tossing away his birthright like that was essentially throwing it in God’s face. At that point, both the birthright AND the blessing belonged to Jacob. When Esau tried to secure the blessing from his father, and Jacob stole it out from under him, the fact of the matter was that Esau wasn’t entitled to that blessing by his own decisions. When he wept and pleaded for his father to provide him with a blessing as well, this desire did not come out of a repentant heart that recognized Esau’s sin and error, but rather out of a heart that believed Esau was still entitled to receiving something.
And I think that is the key: When I approach God with an attitude of entitlement and begin my request by essentially saying, “I deserve this” or I list all of the things I have done to earn God’s favor, or I whine/beg for something without acknowledging the extreme deficit of my sin – I am approaching God with a wrong attitude. If I know that God is sovereign (ruler over all things) and God is holy and God is good, then who am I to beg and plead for my own desires without acknowledging that it is only by God’s grace that I can even ask for these desires?
I think that God hears us out. If He didn’t, prayer would be a bizarre and cruel thing. Sometimes the things I ask for are not the things that are best for me. Like a father who gives His child leafy green vegetables for dinner instead of a chocolate bar, God has my best interest at heart, even when I do not agree.
But I am a little too tired to finish all of these thoughts. I will have to write more on this and an eternal mindset sometime this weekend.