The Scripture for today is Genesis 25:29-34 29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom)
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.
Esau sold his rights and privileges as the firstborn son for a bowl of stew. He eagerly gave up his spiritual role as the future leader and patriarch of his family for food to fill a hungry stomach. The writer of Hebrews, in verse 12:16, refers to Esau as godless. As Abraham’s direct descendent, Esau was heir to the covenant promise that God made to Abraham and his descendents. Esau despised his birthright, his rights and privileges – holding the promises of God so lightly that they had no value to him. As I ponder this story and reflect further, I am struck that Esau’s story is incredibly relevant today.
Faithful God in his unfathomable mercy and grace has kept EVERY promise made to his children (US). But we are so often like our ancestor Esau. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, our inheritance is eternal life. But how many of us despise our inheritance? Despise is a very strong word. Perhaps scorn, disdain, dismiss, ignore, or consider worthless are easier words to digest. I can’t say that I like any of those better. BUT…as the daughter of a King, I have an inheritance, a birthright. The life I live, whether significant or not in the eyes of the world, is lived in the Kingdom of God. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all my heart, soul and mind. In other words, I am commanded to love God above all else. Jesus said that the second greatest commandment is to love my neighbor as myself. How do I honor my special responsibilities and privileges, i.e. my birthright? How do I genuinely show my love for God and my neighbor?
Like Esau, I become famished. It is so easy to fill my spiritual hunger with things like retail therapy; entertainment; work and other distractions. However, once these things are consumed, I am hungry again. I need daily rhythms to feed my soul and keep me connected to the Father. Time in his word and prayer nourish me and when I am nourished in this way, I am eager to show God how much I love him by obeying him and loving those he calls me to love. I am willing to accept and glory in my birthright as his daughter. I cherish my calling in his kingdom here on earth. How about you? How do you stay nourished as you carry out your calling, treasuring your birthright as a child of God?
Lord Jesus, your sacrifice paid for my inheritance in the Kingdom of God. You washed away my sin and made me righteous in the Father’s eyes. Teach me to value my birthright and to treasure it every day of my life. Help me to faithfully demonstrate my love and obedience to the Father. I love you, Lord Jesus. Amen.