Biblical Imagery is language used by the writers of Scripture (by means of God, the Holy Spirit) to create powerful images in the mind of the Bible student. In imagery, figurative and metaphorical language is used to impact the reader’s thinking through their senses as experienced in one’s imagination. Consider Esau selling his birthright (being the firstborn) for a meal (Gen. 25:25-34; Heb. 12:16). He returned from hunting, and he was famished. Being greatly hungered, he sold his birthright to his brother, Jacob, for a pot of stew. The interaction between Jacob and Esau is a part of the historical record, but it has a greater spiritual meaning in its imagery than is commonly understood. The imagery is not complicated, but it is visceral.
Esau’s trade with Jacob sounds (and was) ridiculous, and so is the behavior of most every believer who essentially does the same thing. Millions of believers have sold their birthright as one of the firstborn of God to satisfy their fleshly appetites. This image should resonate in the mind of every believer. Unfortunately, however, many Bible students do not appreciate or understand these powerful Biblical images. To many Christians, their Christian experience is focused on only one event: whether they ever believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Sadly, in most cases, spiritual growth does not receive the needed emphasis by believers. Eventually, while on their journey through life, most will sell their birthright to satisfy their appetites. They do not value their birthright, and they do not have the imagination to see what they are giving up. To grow spiritually, we must, more and more, sacrifice our autonomy and independence from our Creator. To draw near to God is to sacrifice one’s autonomy.
The writer of Hebrews explained that the Old Covenant was a shadow of the New Covenant (Heb. 8:5, 10:1). In other words, the Levites and Priests were a shadow of something better, something that God had in mind all along. Therefore, it is important for the reader to understand when and why the Levites received their special status. When Moses went up Mount Sinai to receive God’s law, he disappeared from the Israelites for forty days (Exod. 24:18), and the people panicked and fell into open rebellion (Exod. 32). Like us, the Israelites were an obstinate and stiff-necked people (Exod. 32:9). Ultimately, a mob pressured Aaron, who was spiritually weak, to fashion a golden calf for the Israelites to worship. At that time, there was an outright rebellion against God and Moses. When Moses came down off the Mountain and saw what the people had done, he stood at the gate of the camp, and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!” (Exod. 32:26). At this critical juncture and during a time of open revolt, the Levites gathered around and in support of Moses and the rule of Yahweh (Exod. 32: 21-27).
Under the Old Covenant, Aaron (the brother of Moses) and his immediate family served as Priests. Aaron was the High Priest, and Aaron’s sons served as regular priests. The Levites supported and assisted the Priests. Both the Levites and Priests were required to devote themselves to the law of the Lord (2 Chron. 31:4). Under the New Covenant, Jesus Christ is our High Priest. Under the New Covenant, there has been a modification to the Priesthood and the Law (Heb. 7:12). Every believer is positionally a part of God’s new Priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 1:6). It is God’s intent that every believer will be and function as a part of a “royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR GOD’S OWN POSSESSION” (1 Pet. 2:9). However, our natural inclination is to be obstinate and stiff-necked, just like the ancient Israelites. Inherently, our first inclination is to satisfy our own appetites. If we do not grow spiritually and remain faithful, we will fail to fulfill our calling to serve as a part of our High Priest’s (Jesus Christ’s) family.
The writer of Hebrews explained that we Christians have not come to Mount Sinai like the Israelites of old who escaped from Egypt. We have come to:
…Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly [the greater body of believers] and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven [mature believers who remain faithful and are recorded in Heaven], and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect [elders (presbyteros, 1 Pet. 5:1), a/k/a fathers (pater, 1 John 2:12-14)], and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant….
As I contended in one of my previous blogposts: “Peter in Rome to the Chosen,” to be God’s chosen people, who will inherit God’s creation and rule with Christ, we must remain faithful until the end of our lives. (Note: remaining faithful does not mean being sinless.) Spiritual growth is an absolute essential part of God’s plan for humanity (1 Pet. 2:2). If we do not grow spiritually, we will inevitably sell our birthright to satisfy our appetites. Instead, we are called to a life of obedience and to obtain an inheritance (1 Pet. 1:2,4,14).
 “G4245 – presbyteros – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 1 Jun, 2022. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g4245/nasb20/mgnt/0-1/>.
 “G3962 – patēr – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 1 Jun, 2022. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g3962/nasb20/mgnt/0-1/>.