You may have made some bad deals in your life, but trust me, you never blew it like Esau, Jacob’s brother, did.
He made one of the worst trades in human history when he traded away his birthright for a bowl of soup (see Genesis 25:29-32).
The birthright meant a double portion of the inheritance. Esau allowed his appetite to get him in trouble. That’s what can happen when you are really hungry.
The tendency is to reach for the first thing that you think will bring satisfaction. It is wise to beware of quick fixes that you think will bring immediate gratification to your hunger, whether it is physical, emotional, relational or spiritual.
Sometimes, people allow their appetites to get out of control. That’s what happened to Esau. Extremely hungry people are tempted to fill the cravings of their soul with pale substitutes for real nourishment.
Just about anything smells good when you are hungry. Things you would never eat suddenly start looking and smelling really good.
In this instance, Esau traded his birthright for a bowl of stew. I know it sounds crazy, but people do similar things every day. When your life is empty, you will let people fill it with anything. We need to learn to walk away from the bowl. Are you willing to do that?
For instance, you are being tempted to cut corners at work. Will you walk away from the bowl in order to preserve your integrity? You are being tempted to give in sexually. Are you willing to walk away from the bowl to protect your morality?
You have your eye on a pursuit that will take more time than you have to give. Will you walk away from the bowl to keep from robbing more precious time from your family? Whenever you are being tempted, you can always decide to walk away from the bowl that is tempting you.
The temporary satisfaction Esau found in a bowl of stew is a reminder to all of us to beware of the temptation to give up what we want most for what we want now. You may think you don’t have a birthright, but every believer does (see 1 Peter 1:3-4a).
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I have been born into God’s family, and I have a spiritual inheritance. Just because Satan waves a bowl in my face, that doesn’t mean I have to give up my birthright.
When you are being tempted, walk away from the bowl. God will give you the strength to do it.
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.