Daily Devotional: Day 116
“Then Jacob said [to Esau], “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright” (Genesis 25:33-34, NKJV).
Esau was the older twin brother of Jacob (who later was named ‘Israel’). As the firstborn of Isaac (their father), to Esau naturally belonged the preeminent blessings and inheritance of his father. One day, he came home hungry and exhausted. Fortunately for him, Jacob had cooked a stew, so he asked him for some. With this request, Esau’s destiny is about to change forever. Jacob wouldn’t give away his stew for free. Instead, he demanded that Esau sell him his birthright in exchange for the stew. Our Scripture reading today picks up the rest of the story.
Jacob made Esau swear about selling his birthright. To Esau, this transaction was nothing more than a non-binding casual arrangement between brothers. Little did he know that he had given away his firstborn blessings for good. The author of the Book of Genesis remarks that “Esau despised his birthright.” In other words, by his behavior, Esau made light of his firstborn responsibilities and blessings. Later in the New Testament, the Letter to the Hebrews described Esau as a “profane person . . . who for one morsel of food sold his birthright (Hebrews 12:16). This means Esau behaved as a commoner and a gullible person. He did not acknowledge his special position in his father’s ancestral line.
You can learn many things from Esau’s behavior. As a Christian, you have a special position of honor in the kingdom of God. You are heir of God and joint heir with Christ (cf. Romans 8:17). Think about that for a minute. You couldn’t hope for a greater honor. Esau forgot how special he was and treated his inheritance as a common thing. You may not be in the exact position Esau found himself, but God wants you to learn from what happened to Esau. Remember not to trade your inheritance in Christ for anything, including immorality, dishonest gain, prestige, popularity or vain friendship.
Stand your ground and maintain that your faith in Christ is non-negotiable and is not for sale, no matter what. Your conscience is not for sale, nor is your precious standing in Christ. Remember how dear you are to God. Don’t behave yourself like a commoner. Your body, for example, is the temple of the living God. God lives in it. Therefore, don’t treat your body as a common or profane thing. Rather, treat it as something sacred. When you make light of your special standing in Christ, you open the door for satan to take advantage of you. Don’t let that happen. Guard your inheritance in Christ uncompromisingly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today. Amen.
Pray to the Father about today’s message.
For further study: 1 Kings 21:1-28