march 16th - Birthright
Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, "Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary." Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, "Sell me your birthright as of this day." And Esau said, "Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?" Then Jacob said, "Swear to me as of this day." So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. Gen 25:29-34 (NKJV)
Are you hungry? When I am preaching on a Sunday morning I generally steer away from talking about food, because it is too great of a distraction. When people are hungry, they start thinking about the next meal until they are motivated to the point of taking action. What happened to Esau was perfectly normal. He was hungry--he secured a meal to fill the need.
Jacob preyed on the fact that Esau's priorities were askew. To be so hungry--to want something so badly--to be so driven by one's desires that all rational thought is shoved aside in order to gain a momentary pleasure, is a recipe for disaster. Make no mistake about it--Esau wanted his birthright--he was willing to kill his brother to get it back, but in a moment of weakness Esau sold something that he should have
treasured. And he sold it for a pot of beans?
Unbelievable! Before we are too harsh in our judgment of Esau, I have observed a lot of people who are making the same kind of decisions in life. We know from statistical studies that many people who are raised in the Church, leave the Church behind and live a more secular lifestyle. In a sense, they are selling their birthright for a pot of beans. Walking away from a life of God's blessings in exchange for a life that will be measurably less. Why do people despise their spiritual birthright? Why do they trade away their treasure for junk? Often--as they mature--they join Esau and come to their senses and realize what they have lost. Like the Prodigal son they realize that the blessings of the Father's home is better than life eating from the pig trough. Just another example of how God's grace trumps our foolish behavior.
Have you ever just stopped and considered all the promises found in God's Word which apply to the people who love God and submit to Him? There are over 5,000--count them--5,000 promises recorded in the Bible. Over 5,000 promises that compose the birthright for Believers. We are not simply blessed by following God--we are incredibly, overwhelmingly, amazingly blessed! No wonder the Apostle Paul described, "Being a living sacrifice as reasonable worship." As living sacrifices we live under the hand and blessings of God. What an amazing birthright!
Author's Note: I am sure that the value of God's blessings exceed my expectations. God is a good; and He proves the validity of my spiritual birthright over and over again as He pours out His favor and blessings. "But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him." Amen to that! RJD