Most of those people reading this today will have a familiarity with Jacob and Esau from the book of Genesis, especially the story of the trading of the birthright for what the Bible calls a bowl of “red red stuff” often translated as lentil stew. However, because most people focus on Jacob and how he deceived his brother and later his father, they miss an extremely valuable Biblical truth and as a result, they live lives short of the fullness of G-D’s promises.
The story of Jacob and Esau takes up only eight verses in Genesis 25:27-34.
When the boys grew up, Esau became a man knowledgeable in hunting, an outdoorsman,
while Jacob was a mild man, remaining in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for wild game,
but Rebekah loved Jacob. Now Jacob cooked a stew. When Esau came in from the field, he was exhausted,
so Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me some of this really red stuff, because I’m exhausted”—
that is why he is called Edom. So Jacob said, “Sell your birthright to me today.”
Esau said, “Look, I’m about to die. Of whatever use is this to me—a birthright?”
Jacob said, “Make a pledge to me now.” So he made a pledge to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank,
then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
Yet within these verses hold the key to vast blessings for those who understand them and can apply the precepts to their lives. Looking at the event we find that Esau is hungry and tired. He feels like he is about to die. How many times in our walks with G-D have we felt that way? We struggled through our day searching for something that satisfy our hunger, and it seems beyond our reach to the point at which we feel spiritually totally spent and unless something happens soon we will spiritually die. It is at that moment in time that a Jacob often enters our lives just as Jacob entered Esau’s life with an offer of something that will satisfy our hunger. Or at least they will try to convince us that what they are offering will bring fullness and satisfaction to our souls. These offerings will always come in the form of false doctrines and compromises of the flesh.
Looking further we see that because Esau despised the birthright he had, he is willing to exchange it for temporary fleshly gratification as too many believers will also. When they don’t see or feel victorious or they look around at others and find themselves lacking blessings in their own eyes, they will also trade their promise for a temporary bowl of stew.
The part that too many miss when reading about Esau and Jacob is that the entire exchange between the two, and the following results are just as false as the lies that satan would tell you and I today. Looking closely Esau’s birthright was never his to exchange for the soup; the birthright of the firstborn is a covenant promise of G-D with the firstborn. It cannot be revoked by anyone just as G-D promises to us cannot be traded for other things. Romans 10:29 says:
for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
So we find that Esau didn’t have the ability to trade his birthright to Jacob and as we read on in the story Jacob never actually takes the birthright (the physical one). Remember the birthright is the double portion of inheritance, which included inheriting the fathers land and house etc. Jacob goes on to deceive his Father and ends up running away from his brother and living with Laban. So Esau got angry at Jacob for stealing something that Jacob never actually stole. As a result, Esau lived for years in anger while still possessing everything that he was angry with Jacob for stealing.
This is exactly what often happens to believers today. Just as with Esau they get tired, wore out, hungry and feeling defeated. At that moment, satan like Jacob will enter the picture offering to give them what they desire. But just as when satan tried to tempt Yeshua, that which he offered was not something he had the ability to give.
In Matthew 4:8-9
Again, the devil takes Him to a very high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
When satan offered all the kingdoms of the world it was no different that Jacob offering to purchase the birthright. Satan didn’t own the world, and Jacob could not possess the earthly birthright.
Too many believers live their lives having settled for less then the reality of what they actually possess. Esau lived for over 20 years in the house that he believed his brother stole from him, on land he believed his brother stole and tending to herds that he believed his brother stole. All the while he was in total possession of his entire birthright.
As a children of G-D, you have many promises, including what we read in 3 John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
The key to prosperity is in rejecting the lie of satan when he would tell us that in a moment of weakness and hunger we traded away an eternal promise for a momentary fleshly craving. It is a lie because we do not own
G-D’s promises and because we do not own them we cannot trade them away.