What’s Essential In Life?

Many of you know the story of Esau and Jacob. The way that Jacob tricked Esau into giving up his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew because he was famished. Let’s take a look at what the scripture says about it.

23 The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.

27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wold game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

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 the 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.

Genesis 25: 23-34

We can see that Esau was willing to trade away his birthright for a meal. This had to break God’s heart to see that it meant so little to him.

God knows exactly what is in our future because he knows what we’ll do even before we do it.

You can lose great blessings if you don’t appreciate them.

Esau and Jacob, the grandsons of Abraham must have spent time with them as he lived with them for the first 15 years of their lives. Surely Abraham told them the stories of how faithful God is.

Esau gave his birthright away because he couldn’t wait on God.

Sometimes we hear people say, “The devil made me do it.” But, he can’t make you do anything.

Small choices can have drastic consequences.

The parents each made the mistake of loving one child over another. Every child is different. Love them equally, but treat them uniquely. Having favorites breeds discontentment. It wasn’t a perfect home.

But, Esau is not absolved of his wrong choice. Our sin affects our children, when our sins go unchecked. They notice and they model those behaviors. Our children need to see resolution to our sins.

Kids model what they see.

They need to see us fail so they can see us overcome.

Esau didn’t see things from a godly perspective.

You see, we can’t have the blessings God intends for us if we aren’t willing to obey God. The essential thing in life is in God’s Word.

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3.

And those spiritual blessings are:

  • Adoption into God’s family. Complete acceptance by God in Jesus.
  • Redemption from our slavery to sin. True and total forgiveness.
  • The riches of God’s grace. An eternal inheritance.
  • The revelation and knowledge of the mystery of God’s will.
  • The guarantee of the in dwelling Holy Spirit.

But, when we despise all of this and turn from God because we want instant gratification, we’re grabbing the right things for the wrong reasons in the wrong way.

Jacob was right to want the birthright. But he was wrong to want it for the personal advantages it would bring him; and he was wrong to take it in the way he did.

Jacob was always scheming to work things out for his own advantage. He needed to learn that God could work things out if he would trust Him.

Martin Luther drew attention to an important fact: this was not a valid transaction, because Jacob tried to purchase what was already his, and Esau tried to sell something that didn’t belong to him.

God had already told Rebekah that the older would serve the younger.

But God doesn’t make us happy and comfortable so that we can live for ourselves. He blesses us because He wants to use us to fulfill His purpose of blessing all nations through the Seed of Abraham, the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we’re into Christianity just for what it can do for us, then we’re grabbing a right thing for a wrong reason. We need to pray, “Lord, bless me so You can use me in Your purpose of reaching all nations.”

What is really essential in life according to God’s Word? Are you willing to trade every spiritual blessing for some fleeting thing because you’re not willing to wait on God? It’s worth giving some thought to it.

In Faith,


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