Monday, December 10, 2012

Give It Away

In Genesis 26 there are two brothers named Esau & Jacob. Esau was a hunter and spent most of his time away from home pursuing wild game. Jacob was the opposite of his brother in many ways and didn't venture from home very often. Esau had been hunting one day and returned extremely hungry and found Jacob who had cooked up some stew. While Esau begged Jacob for something to eat, his brother turned this to his advantage. He asked that Esau give up his rights as the firstborn so that he could eat and Esau flippantly acquiesced. 

It's hard to imagine giving up the birthright as the firstborn for a simple bowl of stew, but it honestly wasn't about the price that was being asked. It was more about Esau's disregard for the importance of the covenant that God had made with Abraham (their grandfather). This trade might seem incredulous to us, but I would argue that we do the same thing on a regular basis. We forfeit greater things for temporary pleasures because we don't realize the greatness of what God offers. Because of our shortsightedness we're not willing to set aside something good for what is best.

We participate in activities that we know are not spiritually or physically healthy, but do so for the immediate gratification it brings. We hide behind the illusion of busy schedules and being financial providers instead of spending invested time with our spouses & children. We convince ourselves that next month will be when we start tithing, serving, reading our Bibles, praying, and exercising because this month is just too busy. 

The concept of trading away a blessing from God for a bowl of soup is completely foreign to us, but we don't have the right to judge Esau. Far too often, we share his guilt in abandoning God's promises for the brief satisfaction found in physical pleasures and spiritual apathy.

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