Tuesday, March 11, 2014

OT #10: Birthright Blessings; Marriage in the Covenant

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine lesson #10:  Birthright Blessings; Marriage in the Covenant

You can read my previous blog post regarding this lesson here:

Today, Mormon Christians focus on two key portions of Abraham's promised covenant: the birthright and the eternal covenant of marriage.  Many hold it a bit of personal pride to be "born in the covenant" of the temple sealing. 

In my last blog post on this topic, I discussed several traditions tied to Abraham and Jacob in connection with the garment of Adam, the birthright, etc. 

Here I would ask us a few questions to ask ourselves:

Have you sold your birthright for a mess of pottage?  Do we choose to live the type of life Esau did, which may put us in a position to barter away our birthright?  Do we choose addictions, entertainment, power or wealth in exchange for our divine birthright?  Do we prize our relationship with God, as sons and daughters, or do we seek to be adopted out to another deity or being?

For Abraham, he became the divine son of Jehovah, AFTER receiving the covenant and then showing himself faithful through many trials and demands.  He would not see the promise fulfilled in his day, as the promised land would primarily remain in Canaanite hands for centuries.  He would allow himself to be sacrificed, risk losing his wife to Pharaoh, and to sacrifice his own son, in order to keep the covenant intact.

Jacob sought the birthright and the covenant.  He was willing to flee his angry brother and to worship God in a foreign land to keep the birthright.  In beginning of his trek, he saw God on his distant throne.  On his triumphant, but risky, return, he saw and touched God. He wrestled the Lord, seeking the power of God's name. He received a blessing and a new name for himself.

Are we actively engaged in developing and maintaining the birthright and covenant?  Or are we happy to sit back and relax, smug in our knowledge that we've been born in the covenant, and convinced that it alone gives us the birthright we think we are owed simply because we exist.  The ancient Jews often thought the same way, and yet were destroyed on many occasions because of their slothful and sinful natures.

What are we doing with our birthright?

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