EHP Day 16-Acting Without Consulting God
Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Abraham’s twin grandsons grew within, and then were birthed from, a daughter-in-law’s womb, scrapping about who would be first.
Gen. 25:22 The children struggled within Rebekah, and she said, “If it is thus, why?”
Crimson Esau emerged first even as supplanting Jacob clawed at his heel. Prophecy assured, and practice proved, the relentless competition between brothers for supremacy.
The critical incident reported above is unsurprising in one sense. Jacob, better at seizing opportunity, craftily capitalized on his brother’s vacillating passions. Flesh-driven, Esau quickly, unthinkingly, forfeits what is irreplaceable. “Food for the stomach, and the stomach for food!” similarly motivated Christians chant in Corinth (1 Cor. 6:13). The priceless rewards and commendation for living by faith readily pawned for a single meal (cf. Heb.12:16), and subsequent (irreversible) rejection.
Surprising is the lack of consultation with God by either of the boys. The unfolding story contains no hint of inquiry, no “LORD God, should I do this? Does this advance Your purposes in my life? In my brother’s life? Our family? The world?” How second-nature for us to recognize an opportunity for personal gain (even at the dis-advantage of a family member) and quickly go for it. Years of relational wreckage twisted itself around these two brothers, the bitter fruit of forgetting to simply meet with God and ask Him for counsel.