The Importance of Being Second

Children are God’s gift to His creation. Not only are children born for parents to care for and learn joy and true love from, they are the future generations who will help bring God’s Kingdom to completion here on earth. God gave us the Bible to learn how He wishes us to live and celebrate Him but there is more to this. Even though it has been said there is no instruction manual for being a parent, those who say that are incorrect. God teaches us in Scripture how to raise the child. Does He not say in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”?
Throughout the Old Testament (and Jesus Parable in the New) there are stories that contain two sons. Some are twins and some are born within a short matter of years of each other. Why are the second born so important. What if I told you that many of the second born actually foreshadow the completion of God’s work through Christ? That was something I bet not too many people would think of.
Anyone who has heard an old theologian minister knows that names in Hebrew actually have more significant meaning than our names do today. Yes some people actually live up to their names while others sit back on the sidelines. The names of Cain and Abel are especially significant when it comes to their father and future descendant Jesus. But I do not want to give away too much right now.
In this study we will look at the sons of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, and God just to name a few. As time moves forward we may find more than meets the eye looking into the children who would receive the blessings as the second sons.
So why study the uniqueness of the second born male child? Think of all the times we hear about the firstborn, first-fruits, first this and that all through Scripture. It is apparently good to be the first for many reasons but it can also be a great challenge.
Firstborns are the experimental child for parents who think they may want more. The parents are either overprotective and careful or they forget the child is even there sometimes. Some are spoiled while others are treated as hired servants. Second children (more specifically in the biblical times sons) are just as, if not more, important. The parents are either more strict or less stringent on the second born. They are sometimes more spoiled than the first (except in the case of Joseph and Benjamin). Second children seem to get the worst from the grandparents because they are expected to be just as good or better than the first. Basically, the second child is looked at as a blessing and a curse.
God made good on the second born for many of the key figures in biblical times. For some reason the second born was always used as an example for something even when it was not necessary to do so. Many brilliant life lessons are learned looking into the lives of the second child.
I myself am a second child (only son born to my parents) and I can say that it was an exciting ride growing up in a family where one parent was an avid church attendee and the other could not stand the hypocrisy. There were many moments that were tumultuous but great lessons were learned. I was the one given to God as servant but that is another story.

For the next few weeks we will look at lessons from the lives of the second sons. During this time we will learn how negative and positive emotions and values can affect the outcomes in our lives. We will discover how God uses those lessons for instruction and guidance leading us towards Him. Join me on this journey as we discover the Importance of Being Second.

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