But Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”.
Look, Esau said, “I’m about to die! What use is the birthright to me?”
I have always felt like the story of Esau and Jacob was a little unfair and that Jacob was a little thief who did not deserve the blessings he got. But a keener look at that story last week made me realize that Esau had gotten exactly what he deserved. His birthright could not have been taken away from him, he could only have given it away. That is why it is called a birth right. All the blessings of Jacob were supposed to be Esau’s and only Esau could have given them away.
But Jacob said, “Swear an oath to me now.”
So Esau swore an oath to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.
I’m sure Esau did not mean it when he swore to Jacob that he had given him his birthright. He obviously did not think much of it because at that moment he was only thinking about food. Or he thought he could get away with it. Esau was a skilled hunter and I don’t doubt that he must have been very hungry, but not hungry to the point of death. But he allows his life to be controlled by the urgency of his stomach. He wanted to be instantly gratified. Often our desires come to us in this manner, like an emergency, an urgency that feels like a desperation.
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew;
Esau ate and drank, then got up and went out. So Esau despised his birthright.
Esau did not know it but, in the process of being instantly gratified, he had despised his birth right. Guys back in the day, a birth right was a huge deal. It still is. If you were the elder child like Esau the blessing you got was holy grail and especially in this case because he was the Abraham’s grandson. It would seem that while Esau was only thinking about his stomach, Jacob had already been scheming about the future. I’m not saying it was a good thing Jacob did, but he had all the legal right to get his father’s blessing, Esau had sold it to him under oath.
And they sang a new song: “Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals,
because You were slain, and by Your blood You purchased for God
those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
You have made them into a kingdom,
priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Is it possible to have an inheritance like that one for Jacob and still despise it? It doesn’t make sense. However, one thing that is clear is that when we received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we also received an inheritance. The Bible says when He died and rose again He obtained an inheritance from God so that those who believe in Him shall also partake of that inheritance. Part of the inheritance we obtained is dominion over the earth. Now if we obtained an inheritance, it is also possible to lose the inheritance just like Esau.
So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth:
sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion,
evil desire and greed which is idolatry.
Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.
You also lived your lives in in this way at one time, when you used to live among them.
When we seek to live a life of instant gratification we lose the inheritance that God has promised us because this inheritance is not automatic. It is for those who live like His children. Looking at Esau makes me wonder, was the bowl of lentils really worth it?
Sometimes our desires feel like an emergency. It is no wonder Esau says to Jacob, “Give me food or I die.” There is so much urgency you would actually think that Esau would have died if Jacob had not given him the bowl of lentils. But our desires don’t have to be gratified NOW. No one will die if they are not gratified at this very instance. Foregoing food for three days to seek God will not kill you. Ironically it feels like, you can’t live if you don’t satisfy that desire, but the satisfaction of such desires bring death. Look within and ask yourself, is it really worth it? Is it worth your promise in God.
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had,
set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
This same desire for urgent gratification led the prodigal son to leave home. But after living a wild life of being instantly gratified the prodigal son realizes it just wasn’t worth it.
An inheritance [may be] gotten hastily at the beginning;
but the end thereof shall not be blessed.
As a child of God you certainly have an inheritance in Him. The reverse is also true. Those who choose to live out of God have inheritance as well which the Bible says is death. Child, do not despise your inheritance by always seeking to be instantly gratified. The easier way out is not always the best way. The truth is the way to Jesus is straight and narrow. If it had been easy the prodigal son would not have been looking for a way out. But every sin is born out of a desire to instantly gratify the flesh. Unknowingly we slowly lose the true blessing that God has intended for us.
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they lost their birthright. When the Israelites rebelled against God they lost their birthright. When King Saul disobeyed God he lost his birthright as you will see with the subsequent king of Israel David. When Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 silver coins he lost his birthright. Indeed God is a good Father who is full of grace so that if we are willing to go back to Him He will reconcile us to Himself and restore our inheritance.
Check yourself. Sometimes its not even the big stuff, for Esau it was just a bowl of lentils.