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Don’t Trade Your Birthright for a Bowl of Stew

Genesis 25:29-33: “And when Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished…” But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.”  And Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob…Thus Esau despised his birthright.”

Oh, what flesh-driven creatures we are, aren’t we? How many times have we ensnared ourselves in a trap because our lust for instant gratification overrides our wisdom and good sense? Instead of using self-control to reach our long-term goals, we immediately cave to our emotions and cravings. We live like we are accountable to no one and have no future to consider. At the first hint of discomfort, we cave to the flesh, totally ignoring the Spirit.

Genesis 13:2 tells us that, “Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold.” Esau wasn’t going to die of hunger, and both he and Jacob knew it. Esau made the same mistake that we in today’s culture make all the time: He bowed to the god of instant gratification, at the expense of wisdom. He had the “I want it so I’m entitled to it” disease. Today’s culture didn’t invent self-consumed short-sightedness; there’s nothing new under the sun.  

It takes maturity and self-control to pause and consider the terrible consequences of doing whatever feels right in the moment. That’s why we need to grow up in the Lord, not live like little children, tossed here and there by every whim.

Hebrews 12:16: “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God…that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.”

When we so easily give in to temptation…when we seek to rationalize and justify our pet sins…when we choose to live like the world while claiming to be a Christian…we are treating Christ’s sacrifice like it means nothing to us. We are despising our eternal inheritance. The Bible calls that way of life immoral and godless.

Don’t trade your birthright for a bowl of stew. Choose to grow up in the Lord. Set your focus on things above, not on earthly pleasures (Colossians 3:2). Choose a lifestyle that leaves you with no regrets when you stand before your King. It’ll be worth every sacrificed moment of pleasure.

In it for Eternity,


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