29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 34 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.
My first response to this passage has always been ‘Seriously??’ That must have been great stew! Clearly the lesson here is never make big decisions on an empty tummy! But on reflection I am challenged to consider the consequences of my own choices, especially when I am distracted or impulsive. Because it seems here that the direction of Esau’s life was changed by the seemingly small choice (I need something to eat NOW) as much as I might have been by a big choice (eg- what career should I follow/ who should I marry etc).
So I am challenged to make sure I am focused on what’s important. Am I too busy thinking about my own comfort to consider the impact my choices might have? (Thinking fair trade/environmental impact) I am reminded not to trade off long-term consequences for short-term gain. God did not step in like a parent and say to Jacob – ‘give that back you tricked him’, or say to Esau ‘it’s ok don’t do it again’. Both players here had to deal with the consequences of this incident for the rest of their lives. I am challenged to check my attitude, think about what I say and do, and make the best decisions I can.
Father God I thank you for my ability to make my own choices. Help me Father to keep my eyes on you and make good decisions. Help me to not become distracted by my own comfort and to bring Glory to you. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen
Written by Christine Knight