Ann Voskamp posted a gripping post on the “right” to life a few weeks ago which really made me start thinking about birth and birth order and rights conferred by virtue of birth. Ann was speaking about life and the sacredness of life, but she downplayed labeling a pro-life stance as “right to life”. Her reason being that God is the purveyor of life and He is in charge of our life because He is the One who created us for a purpose. Those who yield to His authority realize that they live for His glory.
I lift this from Ann’s blog “when we use the language of Right to Life — we inherently and inadvertently think of our life as ours, a right we possess, so we too can determine when and how our lives will end. Life isn’t a right to do with as we want, but a gift from God for Him to do with as He wills.”
I was thinking more about this subject this morning as the lesson in church was from Genesis 29 where Jacob goes to Laban to seek a wife from his father, Isaac’s, family. Here we find Jacob, who through connivery steals his brother’s birthright, linking up with his Uncle Laban and agreeing to work for 7 years for the lovely Rachel, the younger daughter of Laban. In an incredible twist of irony [me thinks] Jacob finds the bride given him at the end of the 7 years is Leah, the older daughter, not Rachel. When he confronts Laban about the switch, Laban replies, “It is not right to marry the younger daughter before the older!” Like, come on, you knew that! Oh, yes, Jacob knows quite well about birth order and the rights of the older. He’s an expert on such matters. Only this time it does not work in his favor…or does it?
What do you think about society’s conferring extreme power on the first-born? Do you think that was God’s plan or was He just working within cultural bounds? Scripture shows us that He accomplishes His will irregardless of earthly custom. For instance, in the marriage of Jacob and Leah, Leah is despised. She bares Jacob sons, but it is Rachel whom Jacob loves even though Rachel is barren. Leah, however, is the one who bares Judah and mothers him. He is the fourth of her sons and he heads the tribe that becomes the line of the Lion, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. Leah was faithful even in the face of rejection. God ordained her, not Rachel, to be the matriarch of the Jews. She did not assert her rights; she was an obedient wife and Godly mother. She rests in the God of the universe, names Judah “God be praised,” and history (His-tory) unfolds.
Reading Numbers 1 today, I learned that Joseph, Rachel’s son who saved the Jews from extinction, is not even named in the twelve tribes of Israel. Instead Moses names two tribes after Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manassah. I have been a Christian 50 years and I never thought about this before. Rachel’s first-born is not named in the 12 Tribes and Leah’s 5th son becomes the forerunner of Christ! It just proves Ann Voskamp’s point that God will do what He will do with our lives. We have no rights just because we breathe, we breathe to bring Him glory. It’s only right.
He is with us,