The birthright God has giv'n to us

The birthright God has giv'n to us
Must be our goal, our highest prize,
For we're the church of the first-born—
Let us our portion realize!
A double portion of the land
Was Joseph's birthright—and 'tis ours
If we our garments keep from sin,
And stay pure in temptation's hour.
The priesthood was to Levi giv'n
As his inheritance—for he
Did count his family ties but loss
And owned God's things supreme to be.
The kingship, Judah did receive
For tending to young Joseph's need;
Through Benjamin's adversity,
He was his comforter indeed.
The double portion we would seek,
The priesthood and the kingship too;
Make us so desperate, Lord, for Thee
That Thee, our birthright, we'd pursue.
We would be those who pay the price,
Deny the soul, reject the self;
Ambitious for the birthright thus
We'd gain Thee, Lord, above all else.
The promise, Lord, 'twas giv'n to us,
Oh, let us ne'er this right despise;
Enflame us, Lord, to gain Thyself,
And Thee, our birthright realize.

Louisiana, United States

Wow, what a wonderful hymn. I love Ana Lara’s comment below. Lord, transform us to be kings & priests to God. May we enjoy our birthright.

Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

The first four sons of Jacob: Ruben, Simeon, Levi and Judah were sinners which indicate that the history of God’s people begins with sinners; however, two of the sinners, Levi and Judah were transformed to become priests and kings.

Stanza 3 concerns the priesthood of Levi:

“The priesthood to Levi giv’n

As his inheritance—for he

Did count his family but loss

And owned God’s things supreme to be. ”

In Genesis 49:5-6, Levi and his brother Simeon receive no blessing because they slew the men of Shechem (Genesis 34). Their father Jacob scatters them among the children of Israel (v. 7) so that they would not be able to behave cruelly according to their disposition.

Later, Levi used his disposition in a renewed, transformed way to slay the worshipers of the golden calf (Exodus 30:26-28). Because of his absoluteness, desperation and faithfulness towards God, Levi received the blessing of the priesthood with the Urim and the Thumim.

In Genesis 49:8-12, Jacob blesses Judah with the birthright by prophesying that his brothers would bow down to him alluding to the kingship.

Stanza 4 of this hymn reads:

“The kingship Judah did receive

For tending to young Joseph’s need

Through Benjamin’s adversity. ”

Genesis 38 gives us an account of Judah in his natural self. He lies to his daughter-in-law Tamar and commits fornication when she disguises herself as a prostitute. In the previous chapter when Joseph’s brothers plot to kill him, Ruben and Judah do not agree so Joseph is thrown into a pit. Later Judah suggests Joseph be sold into slavery to Ishmaelites who are traveling through the area thus saving Joseph’s life.

It is not until chapter 44 that we see a broken and subdued Judah. Joseph tested his brothers again and again to see if they had changed after more than 20 years of not seeing them. He then decides to have his silver cup put in Benjamin’s sack and accuse him of stealing it. Judah pleads with Joseph using tender words to describe his father and the love that he has for his son Benjamin, the only son of his mother for his other brother (Joseph) had died. He then offers willingly to take the place of Benjamin as a slave in order to allow his younger brother to return to his father. It is at this juncture that Joseph (chapter 45) reveals his true identity to his brothers. Judah’s words comforted Joseph realizing there had been a change in all of his brothers’ dispositions. Through Judah’s actions, Joseph had been comforted and Benjamin’s adversity was at that point over.

Judah is the type of Christ who became our Substitute in order to please God the Father’s righteous requirement of the law. Judah became a surety for Benjamin by being willing to take his place as a slave in order to guarantee the return of his brother back to his father.

Judah’s actions had a long lasting effect in the history of Israel. When the children of Israel received their allotted portion of the good land, Judah and Benjamin received their portion next to each other indicating they would always be together. The city of Jerusalem is in the territory of Benjamin at the border of Judah. Later, when the kingdom was divided, the ten Northern tribes were captured and lost but Judah and Benjamin which are to the south became the Southern kingdom that was preserved. It seems as if Judah’s action in saving his brother was the reason Benjamin always stayed by his brother’s side and under his protection.


Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Amen!! Hallelujah, Praise the Lord

Lord Jesus Christ

Joseph's double portion

Awesome Hymn....


Nashville, United States

Make us so desperate, Lord, for Thee, That Thee, our birthright, we’d pursue. Oh Lord!