Sunday, January 10, 2010


Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.)
Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright."
"Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"
But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
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: 29-34

Esau was Jacob’s twin brother…


How are you gonna hustle your own brother out of his birthright with some bread and stew? Would you treat your family this way?

Ok… maybe some of us feel like it sometimes… especially with a dummy like Esau. It seems like he would have sold it to anyone for a coke and a smile but geez… talk about a dysfunctional family.

What’s interesting is that later on in the story Jacob ends up being the father of the twelve tribes of Israel and a great man of faith.
The cool thing about the beginning of the Jacob story and several others is that we constantly see that God does a good job of turning lemons into lemonade.

Life isn’t so much about where you’ve been. It’s more about the actions and decisions we make today that determine where we are going.

Yes, I do believe that there is a cost that we pay for the things that we do in this life (we will see Jacob pay in full in the next few chapters) but it really feels good to know that a lot of the cool kids in the Bible didn’t start off so nice and sweet. Many started off like Jacob did… as people you wouldn’t trust farther than you could throw them.

But, with persistent faith they became great people who accomplished great things that they never could have imagined.

So when we make mistakes and don’t live up to the potential that we see in ourselves it is important to remember to forgive ourselves and make a conscious effort to do better today and in the future. . If we don’t, then we end up holding ourselves back from being the best that we can be.

Guilt is the strangest of bedfellows.


  1. I hate the fact that Jacob took the birthright the way that he did. I never liked any of the explanations that I´ve heard to rationalize it. I guess yours is the only one that makes sense. Although this was a dirty move, he became a different man later in life. His name also changed after fighting with God in a dream to Israel. As he fathered the 12 tribes, Jews refer to themselves as the children of Israel (Jacob). I guess to go full circle, this may be why his name had to be changed once he became a good man. Otherwise we would be the children of Jacob, and that guy was a jerk!

    -Danny Paz

  2. If you read earlier in Genesis, I think Ch. 24 you will see that Rebekah had already been told that Jacob would lead many nations (or something like that). So, Rebekah was trying to help God out (as if he needed it). Jacob ended up in the same place, but went through a lot of misery because Rebekah was trying to orchestrate the hookup. Lesson - God doesn't need our help - unless he expressly asks for it.

  3. Good assessment. Does anyone know exactly what the birthright was, was it a title or a physical object? Also, was the act of giving the food to Esau the sale, or was the birthright sold for an undisclosed price. Very interesting. ~Trompeta.


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