Esau comes home and is famished. The kind where you want to eat everything in sight and all you can think about is just how good it will all taste in your mouth. The kind where you’re done working out and you’ve hit the “starving” phase even though you’re not really “starving.” You feel like it. You want cake. You want a nutella sandwich. And oh my a piece of cheesy bread sounds delicious. Or maybe you want stew.
The stew that your brother just happens to have made. He conveniently prepared this stew beforehand and it’s ready. Piping hot and smelling delicious. Except there’s a price.
He wants your birth right.
Well, you know that thing that means you’re first in line to inherit from your parents. You get prestige, honor, respect, double inheritance. Not to mention blessings too.
But, see. Esau feels like he’s pretty much going to die if he doesn’t eat right this second.
And a birth right sure doesn’t seem to do you much good if you die before you even get a chance to enjoy it.
Right then and there. Esau swore away his birth right.
Then he enjoyed the stew…
Well, enjoyed the stew only until he finished and then got up to leave.
By this time, the exchange didn’t seem to be that great of a deal.
He did what any reasonable man did…and despised his birth right since of course it was no longer his…
All because he decided to take what he wanted most in the moment rather than looking long term.
The allure of the pressing need in the moment draws us close, but the glamour fades fast once the temporary pleasure leaves. I know I’ve sold different “birth rights” before. Sometimes they are as simple as buying a book before shopping around. Other times, I’ve chosen to spend money on an item that I later hated. Choices come at us every day. We’re constantly making decisions. What will I wear? Will I read blogs first or later? Will I read the Bible in the morning or at night or both? Will I drive or walk to work? Will I pray today? Will I meditate? Now, the heart isn’t to become legalistic and rule-bound. Because that just makes us feel the weight of the ball and chain. Instead, we get to make the best choice we can. See what happens and learn from it. Then make another choice. Keep choosing. Praise God for grace to choose again. And remember…our treasure is in heaven.
Where are you tempted to sell your “birth right” for something that looks tempting in the moment? Have you sold your “birth right” before–what did you learn?
ht: Genesis 25:29-34