Esau Sells His Birthright
Esau makes a poor choice.
A photograph of a "typical family"
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright. Genesis 25:34
This is a photograph of what might be considered a typical family. (Hold up photograph.) There's a father, mother, and two children. As I looked at this photo, I wondered if those children always get along with one another. Do you have any brothers or sisters? Do you always get along and play well together? Do you ever fuss and fight? While many kids are lucky enough to become the best of friends with their brothers and sisters, it is also common for brothers and sisters to fight. Our Bible story today is about two brothers who didn't always get along.
You may remember the story of Isaac and how God gave Rebekah to Isaac to be his wife. Isaac and Rebekah loved one another very much and God blessed them with two sons. In fact, they were twins. The first to be born had reddish skin and had a lot of hair. They named him Esau. The next to be born was holding on to his brother's heel. They called him Jacob.
As the boys grew older, they were quite different from one another, Esau became a skilled hunter who loved to spend time outdoors. But Jacob was quieter; he preferred to stay close to home and loved to cook.
One evening, Jacob made stew. When Esau came in from the field, he smelled the stew and said, "Hurry up, give me some of your stew. I'm starving!"
"I'll trade you some stew for your birthright," said Jacob as he stirred the pot. "Then I'll be like the oldest." What did Jacob mean? Well, in those days, the father usually passed on the entire estate to his oldest son rather than dividing it equally among his children as is usually done today.
Esau answered Jacob, "Look, I am about to starve to death, what good is the birthright to me? Give me some of that stew!"
But Jacob insisted, "First you must swear to sell me your birthright."
So Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.
That was not a very wise choice, was it? Sometimes you and I make foolish choices too. As God's children, we have a birthright. God has promised us wonderful things, but we are sometimes willing to give up God's eternal blessing for a moment of pleasure. We often live for today with no thought for what is best for the future.
Our Father, you have promised good things for your children. Help us to be faithful to your Word. We don't want to be like Esau and give up your blessing for a bowl of stew. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.