“Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”Genesis 25:34 (ESV)
Siblings are born to the same parents but can be very different. Such was the case with Esau and Jacob. Esau was an outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, but Jacob loved to hang out around the tent and enjoyed cooking. Isaac favored Esau, but Rebekah favored Jacob. This parental favoritism set the family up for problems.
Esau was a man who lived on the fleshly, temporal level. He seemingly had little or no regard for spiritual things. Jacob (“heel catcher”) had his problems; he was deceitful and conniving. Nevertheless, he had a heart for the spiritual and eternal. Esau’s descendants inherited his value system. They became the Edomites and perennial enemies of Israel. Jacob’s descendants would become the twelve tribes of Israel and the LORD’s covenant people.
Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of lentils. He didn’t care about the gifts, privileges, and responsibilities given him at birth. He typifies the person who has no regard for spiritual and valuable things but lives to please the desires of the flesh. Jacob, although a diamond in the rough, cared about things that truly matter for eternity.
If we are honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that on some days we are like Esau. We yield to the cravings of our flesh. We are only thinking about ourselves. Other days, we are more noble minded, considering God and others. We desire to live for a higher Love. Just as there was a battle in Rebekah’s womb between Esau and Jacob, so there is a battle in us between the flesh and the Spirit.
“The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.”Galatians 5:17 (NLT)
What is the solution? With the help of the Holy Spirit we must choose to kill the lusts of our flesh. Then we must decide to walk in the Spirit, yielding to His leading and relying on His power. Let us not be like Esau or others we have known who have traded their valuable eternal things for a “bowl of lentils”. Instead, let us purpose in our hearts to treasure the riches we have in Christ and to learn to walk in the Spirit, so that we do not gratify the desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:16).
Listen to the complete podcast
Leave a Reply