What is the most valuable thing that you possess? A gold locket, a grandfather clock, or a ring? With that clearly defined, would you then trade that item? How much– offered $50,000 or a $500,000, would you sell it? Consider Genesis 25:27-34.
27 As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”)
31 “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.”
32 “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?”
33 But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.
Inserted into this conversation is a transaction of sorts– I give you this, for that. I’ve always read this straight, and had more questions than answers. I’m confused with how Esau could do such a stupid thing. Stew– for a “birthright”? What the ______? He’s a moron!
Then instead of straight I read this above passage and read into it a sense of humor. All of a sudden the situation came alive and the questions lifted. If Esau is joking, but Jacob is not it changes nothing. Esau is still a “dope.” But it explains how he trades the intangible and eternal for the edible and the temporary. “But I was just joking!”
Esau is left broken and sort of betrayed by Jacob. What he had was ripped off, and he had nothing to show for it. What he didn’t take seriously was by someone else. How often am I guilty of the same thing?
My own heirloom is precious. It is eternal. It is a relationship with God– intimacy with the Creator of my soul and of the universe. But I sell it off for something as trivial as a bowl of lentil stew. WHAT???!!! The enemy values what he does not possess. My salvation is real, and a precious gift. But Satan (my adversary) continually chips away at it, and I more or else could care less.
Esau scares me a bit. I am too much like him. I wear his sandals quite well. I ease up and dismiss what is real; I trade it for the world of illusory pleasure of the moment. I then must live with the consequences of my foolish choice. It is a bitter blow.
God forgives. When I do confess and repent a measure is retrieved for me. I choose to avoid the savory stew of the present and hold tight to my faith. It is the most precious thing I have.
“I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.”
Revelation 3:11, NLT
- Not for Sale! (chrismccurley.wordpress.com)