“Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25:32-34 NIV)
Esau and Jacob--two competitive brothers showing their true colors in this exchange. But what really got my attention today was Esau's lack of faith in the blessing he had coming. His foolishness is on full display.
Esau had the spiritual birthright as the oldest son. This was a given and he was to get it one day when his father decided to bless him. This was a big deal and God recognized and honored it.
But to Esau, it had little to no value. After all, he couldn't see this God his father talked about. So what good was it. Especially when it would buy him a feast.
Esau is young, yes. But not all young people are as foolish as he. And it appears that if Isaac taught him things of faith and God Esau didn't believe it much if at all.
This is seen in that he traded his birthright away for a bowl of stew. Clearly he was famished. But I don't care if you haven't eaten in a week. If you believe that God will bless you once you receive your spiritual birthright, I think you might hang on to it even when famished. Easy for me to say, I know. But then the fool thinks with his stomach. He is short-sighted and driven by fleshly desires. Esau is the fool.
Jacob on the other hand did believe in the power, provision and wisdom of the birthright. We could certainly question his motives and methods. But we can see he truly values God's blessing even if his methods leave a lot to be desired.
What about us?
I wonder if I really believe in the value of the spiritual blessing that only God gives. His promises. He wise ways. His example.
Do I pursue the wise path of God's blessing over the foolish path of my fleshly desires? Do I orient my day around God's mission and wisdom--or my appetites? What drives you?