Genesis 24 is all about Abraham sending a servant back to his people to get a wife for Isaac. That situation panned out very favorably and Isaac received a wife: Rebekah. Genesis 25 opens with Abraham passing away and then moves to Isaac asking the Lord for a child was well. He and Rebekah had not had children yet. She became pregnant with Jacob and Esau. This is a familiar story among christians: these boys are twins and God says that they will be fathers of great nations. One waring against the other. Even in the womb they were struggling against one another. As they were born Jacob came out grasping the heel of his brother Esau. Did I mention Isaac was 60 when he finally had kids? Just like Abraham Isaac had to wait quite a while to see God moving in His promise. It seems God wants to develop trust in Him with EACH generation, not just assuming this relationship because of their fathers. God waits to fortify Isaac’s trust in God.
Now when these two boys were in the womb God said the younger would rule over the older. In this same chapter we see recorded the older brother selling his birth right to his younger brother. This set them up to fulfill the very prophecy that was spoken about them before they were born. Esau, focused on the temporary, is so overwhelmed with hunger that he cannot rationalize why he wouldn’t sell his birthright for just some soup. He hands over all the blessings God had given his father. Remember, everything God had blessed Abraham with, until now, was going to be Esau’s. Yet God had already prophesied that Esau would serve Jacob. Here we see the thing God said would happen is accomplished in a weirdly supernatural way. Esau is so focused on being hungry he is willing to give up everything… crazy.
I think this is a good picture of what we often do. We are hungry for some sort of worldly pleasure: sexual, financial, emotional, whatever it is. With that hunger we allow it to overthrow God’s blessings. We trade the opportunity (daily) to walk in close fellowship and empowerment by God. We look at our metaphorical bowl of soup and then trade God’s powerful mission for that simple bowl. Esau focused on the now and gave up blessings he could have never attained by himself. We focus on the now and give up blessings we can never attain by ourselves.
Lord make me aware of all the little things I am choosing over our call. Help me to see the bowls of soup in my life. I don’t want to trade all of Your beautiful Glory for something that helps me for only a moment. I want to know that You are the only One who can fulfill me needs.
I believe this is something we need to share. We need to remind others about what Esau did and what we are likely all doing. There’s something in our lives, and the lives of our friends that is holding priority over our new birthright. With the help of the Spirit find that thing in your life. Then make it known to others so that they will hopefully feel drawn to do the same evaluation. Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”