Moses' seventh speech, Part 5, Divine judgment on the rebellious sons
Mar 02, 2013
By now it should be fairly clear that the law is not just a document outlining moral standards. Paul says the law is spiritual, which means that the law must be applied by the mind of God, who is Spirit, and not merely by the letter of the law. Furthermore, the law is also prophetic, because it is God’s own standard by which He judges nations through the Supreme Court of Heaven.
Esau is a good case in point, for it is obvious that after Jacob lied to get the blessing, Esau’s rights were violated, and he was the victim of an injustice. Isaac understood this, but he also realized that he was incapable of rectifying this injustice. And so the case was appealed to the Supreme Court for justice. That case has taken a long time to adjudicate, for justice often grinds slowly, but a case like this is never forgotten, because God is never overwhelmed by the great workload of cases in creation.
He also has the uncanny ability to integrate multiple cases so that they all work together in the cause of justice. In the case of Esau, God saw fit to merge that case with that of the evil figs of Judah. After all, the two cases had much in common, as both involved rebellious people who would not submit either to the word of God or to divine judgment.
Surely Esau knew the prophecy given before the twins were even born (Genesis 25:23) that “the older shall serve the younger.” If Esau had been humble and obedient, he would have loved his brother. He would have been happy for him, rather than begrudging God’s right to choose. He would have recognized the opportunity that God was presenting to him to prove himself a true son, for he would have seen that God caused him to be the first-born for a reason. God could have caused Jacob to be the first-born and thereby prevent the conflict before it started. But God had other plans. If Esau had recognized the sovereign rights of God to choose the birthright holder, he might have reacted in a positive manner.
Esau, however, chose to rebel, because he was carnal and lived by self-interest. He could only see the injustice of God’s apparent rejection. The arrogance of his attitude was rooted in the idea that he deserved the birthright as the first-born—as if he were born first by his own power. (Perhaps the struggle in the womb was to see who could get out the door first!)
Esau was unaware that being the birthright holder, the “only-begotten son,” did not have to exclude him from the blessings and promises of God. Isaiah 56 makes this clear, for there we see that any foreigner can join himself to the Lord, take hold of His covenant, and be given “a name better than that of sons and daughters” (56:5). God promises such people in verse 7, “Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.”
Not everyone can be a birthright holder, but the way is open for all to associate themselves with the birthright holder and be blessed accordingly. There was only one birthright holder in each generation leading to the birth of Jesus Christ. And now, because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father, the only way to receive such blessing is through Him. No one, in fact, is chosen unless they have faith in Him and are submitted to Him. But all who are in Him are chosen, in that they are part of His body and joint-heirs with Christ.
This issue is one of the major complaints and controversies that God has been sorting out in the Supreme Court. Who exactly is chosen? Many have disputed this question over the years. Esau disputed with Jacob. Absalom disputed with David. The religious leaders of Judah disputed with Jesus. And in each case others were drawn into the dispute, supporting one side or the other, each side having faith in its leader and hoping to benefit from their rise to power and glory.
All of these cases have been merged in the Supreme Court of Heaven, and they will all be resolved around the time of the second coming of Christ. Absalom’s rebellion was a type of dispute between Jesus and the chief priests of the day, when Jesus’ throne rights were usurped for a time. But even as David returned to reclaim His usurped throne, so also will Christ return to do the same. Hence, that story gives us the timing of God’s final decision.
At the same time, the birthright will be passed to Christ in His manifestation as Joseph, for Genesis 49:10 tells us that Judah’s claim to the scepter was temporary and would have to give way ultimately to Joseph. In this case, because there are two groups each claiming to be Judah, God will resolve that dispute at the same time as well. The two groups are represented prophetically as the two baskets of figs, one sweet and the other bitter (Jeremiah 24). In the New Testament, the Jews claimed to be the rightful heirs of Judah, whereas Paul gives that right (Romans 2:29) to those whose hearts have been circumcised under the New Covenant.
We might call this the Fig Tree Controversy. Which fig tree is chosen? Is it the one bringing forth good fruit, or the one bringing forth no fruit or the evil fruit of rebellion? Jesus prophesied the outcome of this case in Matthew 21:40-44,
40 “Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?” 41 They said to him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons. 42 Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone; this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. 44 And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomsoever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.
Jesus allowed those chief priests and elders to judge themselves, much like Nathan allowed David to judge himself a thousand years earlier. The Kingdom will be taken from the unfruitful claimants and be given to those who do bear fruit. In other words, it will not be given to unbelievers or any who reject Jesus Christ.
Christ is the Stone that was rejected (Psalm 118:22, 23). But there is another stone as well that is mentioned in Daniel 2:35,
35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at same time, and became like chaff [dust] from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
This was Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Jesus referenced this stone in Matthew 21:44, saying, “on whomsoever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” He was warning the usurpers that they should not be found sitting on the “feet” of the Babylonian image at the end of the age, when the stone grinds it to dust. He understood that their descendants would ultimately succeed in taking control of world governments through the instruments of finance and banking. For this reason, when the Stone arrives to hit the Babylonian image on its end-time “feet,” the usurpers claiming to be Judah (“Jews”) will be crushed as well.
This prophecy speaks on a national level, of course. It does not mean that every Jew will be killed. But those who control the visible world leaders, presidents, prime ministers, and monarchs will be overthrown and perhaps executed by the people when their horrendous crimes against humanity are exposed. Babylon will be stoned, and many individuals will be affected, unless they repent and remove themselves from the feet of this image.
Hence, when adjudicating the dispute between the New Jerusalem and Mystery Babylon, the divine decree will be to “stone” Babylon. At the same time, those who are found ruling that system in the foot company of Babylon will be overthrown. The dispute over “who is a Jew” will also be settled at the same time, as the fruitful ones will be justified, and the unfruitful ones will be condemned.
But what of Esau and his claim to the birthright?
There is a very interesting story in the book of Jasher, telling us of the circumstances by which Esau despised his birthright. Both Nimrod and Esau were hunters, and Jasher 27 tells us that one day their paths crossed one day while hunting. They had a terrible fight, and Esau killed Nimrod and took the garments that his grandfather, Canaan, had stolen from Noah. Those garments were the symbol of authority by which he ruled much of mankind at the time.
Nimrod’s bodyguards pursued Esau, but eventually he escaped. When Esau finally arrived home, he was famished and very tired. He asked Jacob for some food, and Jacob asked him for the birthright in return. Esau was under great physical and emotional stress, and so he sold the birthright to Jacob.
Esau also despised his birthright, because he had greater faith in the garments that he had stolen from Nimrod than in the promises of God. He probably thought that his possession of the garments—which were the symbol of the birthright since Adam—would give him power as with Nimrod. This story, I believe, is prophetic of what was yet to happen thousands of years later, when Esau’s descendants would take over Mystery Babylon. In recent years the Edomites within world Jewry have usurped the garb of Babylon.
For this reason, when God stones the image of Babylon, He will also bring judgment upon Edom as a rebellious son that was to be stoned in Deuteronomy 21:21. And so we see how three major disputes will be adjudicated at the same time in the near future. Babylon, Judah, and Edom will all be brought into divine judgment in the same court case, for God has seen fit to merge their cases in the course of history.
This is the fifth part of a series titled "Moses' Seventh Speech." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones