Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac the father of Esau and Jacob – twin boys.
While Esau was the older and rightful heir to the family inheritance, Jacob manages to take the birthright from his older brother (Gen. 25:29) and receive Esau’s blessing from their father, Isaac (Gen. 27:18-29). In the first instance, Jacob exploits Esau’s hunger and lackluster attitude concerning his birthright to gain it for himself. One day, as Esau returned exhausted from the field, Jacob was cooking stew. Esau, famished from the day’s activities, demanded the red stew from his brother.
Getting straight to the point, Jacob agrees to give him the stew if he hands over his birthright. As firstborn in this culture, Esau had significant responsibilities and privileges due to being born moments before Jacob. This birthright setup the future leadership opportunities and financial status for the one who held it and gave that person headship over the rest of the family. With such an outlandish trade proposal, one would assume that Esau scoffed at the offer.
Shockingly, Esau accepts the offer. “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” (Gen. 25:32). This story seems so pathetic that it almost seems made up. The ridiculous manner of this transaction actually speaks volumes when the content is processed.
What kind of a man would sell his birthright for a measly bowl of stew?
The answer is simple: the kind of man who didn’t need to have it.
After this transaction, Esau is described as despising his birthright (Gen. 25:34), but if he was willing to sell it for one meal, he never truly valued it in the first place.
Esau traded the utmost for the urgent. He valued his momentary hunger being temporarily satisfied more than he did the ultimate course and direction of his life.
When worded this way, Esau’s trade actually seems pretty common. Plenty of individuals trade in something greater down the road for a passing moment of satisfaction as one thirst or another is fleetingly fixed.
Don’t give up God’s coming promises for a passing pleasurable moment.