November 15, 2020
Reuben Skipped Over By God
1 Chronicles 5:1-2 (KJV) Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s.
The birthright of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, or Jacob, was stripped from him by God. This taking away of his birth position was not a hasty action by God but was justice do to Reuben’s choice of grievous sin against his own family.
Order of birth in ancient times lent itself to the heralded passing on of both a name and position. This birth-order preference was passed on commonly to the firstborn male of each family line, which in this particular case, was Reuben. However, Reuben’s crude sinful actions forfeited this right and replaced it with this status given to a younger brother named Joseph.
Likely many of you are familiar with Joseph’s life, one of the younger of Israel’s sons. God chose to skip over Rueben’s first-born preference, instead, placing this honor on Joseph.
God gave the highest honor in this family to a younger and humbler son rather than his firstborn, Reuben. Though birthright does often place a man in a position of favor, God can and does reward honorable living in an order of His choosing.
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