A Pot of Stew
January 19 - Nº 19 Genesis 25:5-11, 19-34
Abraham died at the age of 175, and Isaac inherited everything that he had owned. But as blessed as Isaac was physically and spiritually, he and Rebekah were unable to have children of their own. Isaac prayed diligently that Rebekah would become pregnant, but God chose to make them wait. Finally, after twenty long years, the time was right. Rebekah was not only pregnant—she was going to have twins. It was not an easy pregnancy. The babies seemed to constantly wrestle in her womb. When Rebekah asked God what was going on, He explained that the twins would eventually become two separate nations, and that those nations would have trouble getting along. He told her that ultimately the older one would serve the younger. The twins were not alike at all. From the moment they were born it was easy to tell them apart. The older one had reddish skin and lots of hair. They named him Esau (meaning “hairy” or “rough”). The younger twin was actually born holding onto the heel of his older brother. They named him Jacob (meaning “one who closely follows or replaces”). His skin was smooth and soft. They had very different personalities as well. Esau loved roaming the countryside. He became a skillful hunter. Jacob, however, was quiet and thoughtful. He enjoyed staying at home growing vegetables and making gourmet meals. Since Isaac loved venison and wild meat, he found it easier and more enjoyable to hang out with Esau. Rebekah, on the other hand, loved having Jacob at home with her, so she spoiled him. In that culture, the first-born son was given an extremely important privilege. He received “the birthright.” This meant that his inheritance was double what his younger brothers would receive. Esau, being the older twin (by mere seconds!) had the right to inherit two-thirds of his father’s wealth while Jacob would only receive one-third. Jacob knew this, but he contrived a way to make the larger inheritance his. One day he cooked a large pot of lentil stew. The aroma was amazing. He knew that when Esau returned from a long day of hunting, he would be starving. Sure enough—he was! Esau begged his brother for a bowl filled with the delicious stew. Jacob was willing to share—but only if Esau was willing to give up his birthright! At that particular moment all Esau wanted was food. The desire for instant gratification clouded his ability to make a wise decision. Being over-dramatic about his situation and under-appreciative of the value of his birthright, Esau agreed to Jacob’s terms. He sold his birthright for a pot of stew! He would later regret his hasty, foolish decision very much.
When you feel that you need something immediately, what length are you willing to go to get it? Are you willing to compromise your standards? Are you willing to risk your future? Or are you willing to wait for God and allow Him to take care of your needs and fulfill your desires?