Open your bibles to Genesis Chapter 25 and read all 34 verses.
Overview: In this Chapter we learn that after God blessed Abraham and Sarah with a son in their old age, it didn’t stop there! Abraham took another wife after Sarah died. Her name was Keturah. Keturah and Abraham had 6 more children. We read of Abrahams death in this chapter. In verse 7 it says “This is the sum of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man full of years.” We read that his family buried him in the same cave as Sarah. We read that after Abraham and Sarah died, God blessed Isaac as he had his father. We read a lot of genealogy of Ishamel (Haggar’s son by Abraham). We then read the story of Isaac. Isaac inherited everything from his father, including God’s promise to make his descendants into a great nation. (As a boy, Isaac did not resist as his father prepared to sacrifice him, and as a man, he gladly accepted the wife that others had chosen for him. Through Isaac we learn how to let God guide our life and place his will ahead of our own.) We read the genealogy of Isaac in this chapter as well and discover that Isaacs wife Rebekah is barren. Isaac prays for her, and she conceives. She felt a struggle inside her body to the point she inquired of the Lord – Why? That’s when he told her she was having twins! The Lord told her that there were two nations in her womb. Two peoples would be separated from her body. One people shall be stronger than the other and the older would serve the younger.” When the day came for her to give birth, she indeed gave birth to twins. The first boy came out red, like a hairy garment all over, so they called his name Esau. Afterward, his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when she gave birth. (He married her when he was 40) The boys grew and Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field. Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he “ate of his game”. But Rebekah loved Jacob. (In other words, they had their favorite). Now Jacob cooked a stew and Esau came in from the field , and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with the same red stew, for I am weary.” But Jacob said “Sell me your birthright this day and I’ll feed you.” Esau was so weary he said “I’m about to die – what good is my birthright if I die?” Jackob said “Swear to me” So Esau did – he swore -and sold his birthright and ate bread, stew and lentils; then he ate and drak, arose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Lessons we learn from this scripture:
- A birthright was a special honor given to the firstborn son. It included a double portion of the family inheritance along with the honor of one day becoming the family leader. The oldest son could sel his birthright, or give it away if he chose, but in doing so he would lose both material goods and leadership position.
- Esau traded the lasting benefits of his birthright for the immediate pleasure of food. He acted on impulse, satisfying his immediate desires without pausing to consider the long-range consequences of he was about to do. We can fall into the same trap if we are not careful. When we see something we want, our first impulse is to get it. At first we feel intensely satisfied and sometimes even powerful because we have obtained what we set out to get. But immediate pleasure often loses sight of the future. We can avoid making Esau’s mistake by comparing the short-term satisfaction with it’s long-range consequences before we act. I think we often see this with “debt”. We run in to get something we want that we can’t afford and we enjoy it for a minute – then those payments come month after month.
- Esau exaggerated his hunger “I’m about to die”, he said. This made his choice much easier because if he was starving, what good was an inheritance anyway? The pressure of the moment distorted his perspective and made his decision seem urgent. We often experience similar pressures. For example, when we feel sexual pressure, a marriage vow may seem unimportant. We might feel such great pressure in one area that nothing else seems to matter and we lose our perspective. Getting through that short, pressure-filled moment is often the most difficult part of overcoming a temptation.
- The thing that stood out to me as I read this was that as Christians, we too have a birthright! We have an inheritance awaiting us in heaven and we can’t get “weary” like Esau and just give it away. We can’t get so tired of the fight and spiritual battle that we just throw in the towel. The spiritual battle is raging. You can feel it. But don’t grow weary my friends! In due time we’re gonna reap heavens reward!!
Be blessed today my friends!!
**Some notes taken from the life application study bible.