Scripture: Psalm 16:5:
“The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea I have a goodly heritage”. KJV
“My choice is you, God, first and only, And now I find I am your choice! You set me up with a house and yard. You made me your heir!” MSG
“In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.Which is the earnest(guarantee, first fruits, the pledge, foretaste, the down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory”. Amplified.
WHAT IS AN INHERITANCE?
An inheritance is something that is received from someone when they die. The operative word here is to RECEIVE.
In Genesis 25: 20-34, we see the story of Esau and Jacob and the events that preceded their birth. The boys were already at it in their mother’s womb, so she went to enquire, and she was told that she was pregnant with twin boys who would be rivals in their lifetime. While this is a cute and maybe even funny or sad story in the Bible depending on whom your instincts support, it is also a story surrounding our spiritual inheritance and what it takes to take delivery and sustain it in our lives.
What can we learn from this story?
- The struggle for our inheritance usually begins long before we are born. Most of us might have heard stories from our parents of stuff that might have happened before our birth. However, beyond that is the fact that even our spiritual inheritance was struggled for, fought for and won before we even realised we had one. See verses 23 -26. The boys jostled in their mother’s womb even before they were born.
- Inheritances are embedded within our birth right. To inherit anything from someone, you must have been born to them or have had a birthright bequeathed to you by adoption (We are in the race for an inheritance from God because we were adopted and grafted in when we believed and received Jesus- John 1:12).
- An inheritance cannot be taken away from the inheritor except he gives it away.That is what wills and law courts guard against in our society. This is not different in our spiritual walk. Yes, the devil will continue to scheme and plot to take that which is ours but until we give him permission by our commission or omission, he cannot lay hold of what God has in store for us. In this case, Esau gave it to Jacob…he sold it!
- You are not likely to understand and appreciate the value of your inheritance except you are mature. It takes maturity to be able to understand the value of what you have received.
So what is maturity? Maturity is when something reaches its full development- its full potential. It takes growth to mature. However, maturity is different from growth.
People can grow up but never mature.I believe this is why it was said of Jesus that he matured in wisdom and in stature. Growth is a physical andnatural process of development. Maturity, however, takes a deliberate and intentional focus on where we want to go or what we want to become or known as.
“And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field, and Jacob was a plain man dwelling in tents.”Verse 27.
Given the events of the scriptures above, it is safe to say that even though Esau in this story grew in physical stature, he never matured in wisdom. If Esau had matured in wisdom, he would have understood that somehow his birthright was linked to his inheritance.
Maturity would have made him understand that the devil will not announce to him that he was coming for the jugular but will make him feel that what he was giving up was either unimportant or would not have any adverse effect on his life thereafter.
Growth is when someone grows and gathers knowledge. Maturity is when that person understands the knowledge enough to discern its best application for his situation. Growth is an embodiment of skills gathered. Maturity is the ability to know how best, when best and where best to dispense and utilise the skills that have been acquired.Growth makes you think of today, maturity helps you focus on the future and the big picture.
In verse 33, something strange happened. Jacob made Esau swear that he was giving him his birthright. Meanwhile, Esau had said ‘what use is a birthright to me?’.
It seems to me here that one person was thinking about now while the other was focused on the big picture or future. Why would Jacob go through the trouble of making Esau swear if the birthright didn’t mean anything?
In verse 34, Jacob gave bread and beans for Esau’s birthright, and the Bible says,“…Esau despised his birth right”.
Genesis 27: 1- 38.
That first interaction set the stage for the final straw that broke the Camel’s back. Esau had been going around without his birthright for a while. What this meant was that he lost the right to choose anything before Jacob. Remember he swore.
However, things have now progressed; their father was old and getting ready to die. As it was with Jewish tradition, he had to pronounce the blessing upon his first-born son. The blessing is extremely important as it bestows on the first son something greater than property. It is at this stage that the father releases the prophecy that frames the son’s life forever. However, beyond that, the one upon whom the blessing is also pronounced gets something extra that gives him an edge above and beyond other siblings.
The stage seemed set for Esau’s upward transition in destiny but while his father was instructing him on what to do to get the blessing, his mother overheard and devised a plan with Jacob on how to get it.
It is my opinion that this would never have been possible had Esau protected his ‘turf’ from the get go. Despising his birthright opened the door for the massive tsunami of losing his blessing. If it was just that, Esau would have lost the land only; it would not have been so bad, but losing out on the blessing meant he lost his place in history.
In Exodus 3:6, the first time God introduced himself using the names of the patriarchs, He said to Moses; “I am the God of your father; Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Esau…” Well… no, he said the God of Jacob.
Please note that this wasn’t about material blessings, this was more. If you have been paying attention, Esau wasn’t exactly poor. He was so rich that on the day he was coming out to meet Jacob; he had with him 400 servants. However,what he could amass in business acumen, he lost in peace and joy. When he finally lost the blessing, his father told him that he would leave by the sword.
So it wasn’t that Jacob needed Esau’s material blessings. It was just that he took his place where it really mattered. He took his place where history was important.
See Hebrews 12:16 – 17. Esau was described as a profane (godless) person, who sold his birthright for food and thereby lost his blessing and could find no place of return even though he searched for it with tears. (Genesis 27:30-40).
While it was not possible for Esau to undo what had happened, thankfully, we can. What this means is even when we have acted in ways that have despised our birthright in Christ, we serve a merciful God, who does not desire for us to perish in that state. He has made a way for us to come back. In John 1:12, if we will just believe and receive Jesus, then we will begin our journey towards maturity to inherit.
Getting our inheritance takes two steps
- A coming to self – to see ourselves as we truly are. Once we come to Jesus, we become adopted children of Godand, therefore, whatever God has, we have access to. This means we need to recognise that we require help outside ourselves and beyond our ability. We need Jesus!
- A coming to God in whom all power, grace, mercy and truth is resident, who has promised us a future, a hope and an expected end.Once we have these ends tied neatly, we can continue the adventure of life in the assurance that we will make it even though it takes time.
It is also important to note that coming to God and getting into our inheritance isn’t a once-and-for-all process. It is a continuous opportunity. Thankfully,we can keep coming as we mature.
The most important step is the first one… do you know who you are? If you don’t you may just sell your birth right for a bowl of beans; God forbid!