“One day Jacob was cooking a stew. Esau came in from the field, starved. Esau said to Jacob, ‘Give me some of that red stew—I’m starved!’ That’s how he came to be called Edom (Red).  Jacob said, ‘Make me a trade: my stew for your rights as the firstborn.’  Esau said, ‘I’m starving! What good is a birthright if I’m dead?’ Jacob said, ‘First, swear to me.’ And he did it. On oath Esau traded away his rights as the firstborn. Jacob gave him bread and the stew of lentils. He ate and drank, got up and left. That’s how Esau shrugged off his rights as the firstborn.” Genesis 25:29-34 (MSG)


As a culture, we don’t like to wait. If we order a meal at a restaurant, we want it fast. If we buy a book online, we want the fastest shipping possible. When a new electronic device comes on the market, we want to stand in line to get it. Many times we crave gratification in the now. The concept that we have to wait or delay gratification can make us frustrated. And so the same thing can occur when we are pursuing God’s will for our life. Our desire for the fulfillment of His Will keeps us wanting it now without the wait.

Jacob and Esau were more than brothers; they were twins. However, Esau was still the firstborn son, entitling him to the “birthright.” The birthright had to do with an individual’s inheritance and position in the family. According to Deuteronomy 21:7, the firstborn son was given a double portion of his father’s possessions and wealth. The firstborn son was recognized as set apart from the other children.  Jacob understood the value of the birthright.  Esau, on the other hand, found himself tired and hungry on one hot day.  He had been working in the field, and his physical need for food was of highest priority. His brother was making food, and he wanted some.  In his moment of weakness, Esau’s current physical realities became more important than the future. Esau forfeited his future for present gratification. He could have said no, but his mental stamina was diminished by his present fatigue. Instead of placing value on his birthright, he traded his entire future for stew made of lentils. Oh, how many times do we do the same! God says that He has wonderful plans for our lives, we nod in response, and pursue His call. But, along the way, the future can seem so distant from today that we give up on our divine inheritance for a cup of soup. We are trusting God to bring a godly spouse into our lives, but it seems the wait has been too long. Surely God won’t care if we live with someone for just a few months. We say we trust God to deliver us from our financial despair, but surely it won’t hurt if we gamble some of the money away. We know God has placed a big dream in our hearts, but instead of pursuing it, we sit back and pursue our hobby for years. It seems like nothing, but our choices indicate that we are taking our birthright as heirs of God’s blessing and promise and trading it in for a cup of soup. It won’t satisfy long term, but it is available right now. And like Esau, our “right now” takes precedence over the promise.  In your life, what areas have you forfeited God’s future blessing for something right now? The price you will pay in a moment of weakness will cost you more than you had wanted to give. So as you are given the choice, choose to pursue God, and don’t trade your future for a cup of soup.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

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