Esau Sold His Birthright. Would You? (Genesis 25:33)

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When I’m hungry, few things are as appetizing as a burger and fries (with Ranch dressing. I am a Southerner, after all).

It’s an old standby. If I can’t find anything to eat, I know I can always pull through somewhere and grab one. Or, better yet, I’ll throw one on the grill and have it ready in a matter of minutes. It’s de-licious.

But as much as I love them, I wouldn’t give up a birthright for it. The same, unfortunately, can not be said of Esau.

Esau was a hunter, but apparently, one of his hunts didn’t go so well. He’s “famished” — according to the Text — and asks Jacob for some of “that red stuff there” (Genesis 25:29-30).

Jacob, in return, tells him he’ll give him a meal in exchange for the birthright. And not just any birthright, the birthright that was promised to Abraham by God. Esau agrees and Jacob hands over a plate of dinner.

This is literally the Biblical equivalent of selling a cow for magic beans. Except instead of a beanstalk leading up to a giant, Esau just gets a full belly. 

On the surface, this seems abhorrent. Who in their right mind would ever make such a ridiculous trade?

The answer? All of us. All the time.

You’re right, it was stupid of Esau to make the trade. He’s giving up his birthright for a simple meal. In a matter of hours, he’ll be hungry again, but his birthright will be long gone.

But don’t we do the same thing? We have all been called to be sons of God. Every last one of us can be Christians, no exceptions. 

And yet, after we’ve become a Christian, we trade that off for a simple meal. We dive headfirst back into sin, trading our eternal salvation for something like internet pornography, drunkenness, or unhinged gossip that destroys relationships.

There are a lot of things that I don’t struggle with in this life, but there are also a lot of things that I do struggle with. Keeping God’s Word is an everyday priority, and yet every time I disobey God, I exchange that precious gift that God has given me for something less than bean soup.

The problem wasn’t that Esau didn’t see the value of his birthright, it’s that he “despised” it in the of what he thought was certain death. He panicked because he thought he would die, so he gave it up to preserve his life. What a terrible, terrible trade.

Can the same be said of me? 

What’s my pot of stew?