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It is that time of year again. Time to sort through our stuff and get rid of the old, extra, outgrown—the things we don’t value anymore. We put it in a box labeled, “garage sale” where we will sell it, usually pretty cheap.
It reminds me of the sad story of Esau, who received the birthright of the firstborn son. This birthright was to be of great importance, “for it included not only the inheritance of worldly wealth but spiritual preeminence. He who received it was to be the priest of his family” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 177).
But Esau really didn’t value his birthright. “Esau grew up loving self-gratification and centering all his interest in the present” (Ibid.). And
Esau had no love for devotion, no inclination to a religious life. The requirements that accompanied the spiritual birthright were an unwelcome and even hateful restraint to him (Ibid., p. 178).
‘Thus Esau despised his birthright.’ In disposing of it he felt a sense of relief. Now his way was unobstructed; he could do as he liked (Ibid., p. 179).
Esau really didn’t value his birthright. When the chance came to sell it for something he did value at the moment—he sold it and cheap!
Each one of us was given a birthright the moment we were born. Male or Female, according to God’s plan.
If MALE, you have the right and were designed to be a father, Spiritual leader, provider, protector and head of your home. (See 1 Timothy 2:12-13, Ephesians 5:23, 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, 1 Peter 3:1-7, Genesis 3:17-19.) The Spirit of Prophesy, in unison with this, says:
The Lord has constituted the husband the head of the wife to be her protector; he is the house-band of the family, binding the members together, even as Christ is the head of the church and the Saviour of the mystical body. Let every husband who claims to love God carefully study the requirements of God in his position. Christ’s authority is exercised in wisdom, in all kindness and gentleness; so let the husband exercise his power and imitate the great Head of the church (Adventist Home, p. 215).
Husbands should study the pattern and seek to know what is meant by the symbol presented in Ephesians, the relation Christ sustains to the church. The husband is to be as a Saviour in his family. Will he stand in his noble, God-given manhood, ever seeking to uplift his wife and children? (Ibid., p. 117).
The husband and father is the head of the household. The wife looks to him for love and sympathy and for aid in the training of the children; and this is right (Ibid., p. 211).
If FEMALE, you have the right and were designed to be a wife and mother, to bear and train children for the family of God. (See Genesis 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:13-15, 1 Peter 3:1-6, Proverbs 31:10-31; 12:4.)
Again, the Spirit of Prophecy agrees with God’s Word:
Woman should fill the position which God originally designed for her, as her husband’s equal. The world needs mothers who are mothers not merely in name but in every sense of the word. We may safely say that the distinctive duties of woman are more sacred, more holy, than those of man. Let woman realize the sacredness of her work and in the strength and fear of God take up her life mission. Let her educate her children for usefulness in this world and for a home in the better world (Ibid., p. 231).
The king upon his throne has no higher work than has the mother. The mother is queen of her household. She has in her power the molding of her children’s characters, that they may be fitted for the higher, immortal life. An angel could not ask for a higher mission (Ibid.).
The votaries of fashion will never see or understand the immortal beauty of that Christian mother’s work, and will sneer at her old-fashioned notions and her plain, unadorned dress; while the Majesty of heaven will write the name of that faithful mother in the book of immortal fame (Ibid., p. 238).
You may laugh and say this is too old fashioned and impossible in our day and age. But “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). I wish the verse ended here—there is one more sentence however: “But they said, We will not walk therein.”
We have no choice in our sex at birth, but we do have a choice whether we walk in God’s ways, value our birthright and the particular blessings that God gives with it, or desire something different, something which perhaps, in the moment, we think more valuable. Remember Eve? “In attempting to rise above her original position, she fell far below it. A similar result will be reached by all who are unwilling to take up cheerfully their life duties in accordance with God’s plan” (Adventist Home, p. 115).
Everywhere, men and women today are tempted with almost irresistible temptations to sell their birthrights—like Esau, like Eve—not content with the role God gave them. Where are the men who value their God-given birthright as MEN—who desire to be the Spiritual leaders? Where are the women who value their God-given birthright as WOMEN—who support in their role with grace and dignity? Why do men not take seriously the fact that God made them the providers? Why do men not care if women take the Spiritual leadership in the church today? Why do women covet it? Why do women desire to escape the home and fight on the front lines? Why is there such confusion everywhere?
Paul calls Esau a profane person for his foolish decision.
. . .who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 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 (Hebrews 12:16b, 17).
What a horribly sad picture this is! To see your error, to repent, but too late!
Multitudes are selling their birthright for sensual indulgence. Health is sacrificed, the mental faculties are enfeebled, and heaven is forfeited; and all for a mere temporary pleasure—an indulgence at once both weakening and debasing in its character. As Esau awoke to see the folly of his rash exchange when it was too late to recover his loss, so it will be in the day of God with those who have bartered their heirship to heaven for selfish gratifications (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 182).
Our entire culture, indeed the whole world it seems is selling out on the gender issue. We are pressured to get on board, to make no difference between male or female in position, dress or marriage covenant.
Again we are told: “The two who unite their interest in life will have distinct characteristics and individual responsibilities. Each one will have his or her work” (Adventist Home, p. 114). There should be no confusion!
At birth you were given a beautiful birthright. Value it. Faithfully be all that God created you to be and He will bless you beyond belief. Don’t sell it!
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Gerita Liebelt lives with husband Lonny near Libby, Montana. She has been a teacher and nurse, among other things. The Liebelts have served in the Carolinas, Indiana, California, Wyoming, Washington, and Montana.