Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC

Genesis 25:29-34
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.

It’s been said that we should live for the moment. Carpe Diem! Seize the day! This is great in the context of making the most of every opportunity that comes your way in sharing the Gospel. By all means, in that case, live for the moment. When it comes to your family, enjoy the everyday moments and don’t wish for something or someone else. Make the most of the time you have with them right now. However, the Bible also says in other ways we should not live for the moment. When it comes to the flesh we must choose to live for eternity and not for the temporal passing pleasures of this life.

Consider the story of Jacob and Esau. Esau is the older brother, but Jacob is the chosen one of God. He is the one whose name would be changed to Israel and from whose 12 sons would come the 12 tribes of Israel. However, his name means “deceiver” or “supplanter” in Hebrew. Before being changed by God Jacob was a deceiver and he looked for every opportunity to gain an advantage over his older brother. So, as Esau comes in from the field and says he is hungry, Jacob sees an opportunity to gain from his brother’s weakness and he does just that. He convinces his brother to sell his birthright giving him the double inheritance rights of the firstborn instead of Esau having it.

When I read this the question that comes to my mind is, “are you kidding me?” How could you sell your inheritance rights for a stinkin’ bowl of stew?! Then the Lord reminds me that I do it all the time when I choose to walk in the flesh over walking in the Spirit. So often we choose what feels good in the moment instead of what is best. There may be pleasure in sin for a moment, but it brings pain and brokenness over a lifetime. Satan, just like Jacob here, is an opportunist and he will bring temptation our way at our point of weakness.  It may feel good to give that co-worker a piece of your mind, but in the end it will only harm you and that person. That one night stand might feel real good for a night, but the sword of shame will pierce your soul every day after that. You might drown your problems in that bottle tonight, but tomorrow five more will be staring you right in the face. I challenge you today to obey Colossians 3:2 which tells us to set our minds on the things above, not on the things of this earth. Choose to walk in the Spirit in obedience to the word of God and resist the temptation to give in to the flesh. Don’t sell your birthright in Christ for a bowl of stew. A little stew meat of the flesh might taste great going down today, but it will choke the life out of you tomorrow. Walk in the Spirit not in the flesh and you will be blessed in your faith.  

Father God, I thank you that in my weakness you are strong. You tell me not to carry out the desires of the flesh but to walk in Your Spirit. Lord, today I ask that you fill me with your Spirit and help me walk in You. I don’t want the temporary pleasures of this life. I want real lasting joy that comes only from obedience to You. In Jesus name I pray, amen!

Psalm 84:10
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.