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Blessing & Birthright

In Genesis, God transfers the divine blessing and the divine birthright to Abraham. Abraham passes them on to Isaac, and Isaac winds up passing them along to Jacob against his better judgement. It was, however, God’s will.


The blessing is material – the authority to master the universe through science and technology, to civilize society, to bring order, and to use material goods to increase health and wellbeing for the betterment of humankind.


The birthright is spiritual: the ability to have fellowship with God, connection with others and the natural world, to develop moral ideology, religious awareness, ethics, and community; to care for others, and cultivate music and the arts. The true purpose of the arts is to elevate people emotionally and spiritually.


Wherever humans have harnessed technology and science for the good of society, wherever we have developed political and economic systems that make people’s lives better and freer, the blessing is at work. Wherever humans have lived out the love of God, wherever humans are ethical and moral, wherever music and art reflect the principles of righteousness and goodness, the birthright is at work.


By custom, the blessing and the birthright were to be passed from Abraham to Isaac to Esau. But Esau was not a spiritual person – he gave away his birthright for a bowl of soup.


In God’s design, the blessing is always to be subject to and guided by the birthright: The material, technological, scientific side of humanity is to be in service to the spiritual, cultural, artistic, religious side. Those to whom God has given the blessing (i.e., those who have economic, political, scientific, and technological gifts) need to use those gifts for the betterment of humanity. The blessing needs to be guided by the birthright.


Jacob without the scientific and technological knowledge of Esau leaves us in the Dark Ages. Esau without the spiritual direction of Jacob produces empires, totalitarianism, consumerism, despots, greed, and atomic bombs.


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