Who are some of the most significant people in the Old Testament? The title of this blog should give you a hint…
First, there’s Abraham. The man who had faith that pleased God. The man whom God promised not only a son, but offspring as numerous as the stars in the sky. The ancestor of God’s people, Israel.
Then there’s Isaac. The miracle child. The one born to Sarah at the age of 90 and Abraham at the age of 100. Which is pretty remarkable, it’s no wonder his name means, “he laughs.” He is the first descendant in fulfillment of God’s promise. He is also the perfect example of what having patience can bring.
Third, is Jacob. His name means, “he grasps the heel” which he did to his twin coming out of their mother’s womb. But did you know that figuratively, it means “he deceives?” Jacob is the third link in God’s plan to start a nation from Abraham. And though his methods weren’t always respectable, his skill, determination, and patience throughout his life is admirable. You can clearly see God’s work in Jacob’s life.
You know who else is a significant person in old testament times? Esau. He was the one who should have been Jacob, being firstborn and whatnot. His life must have been filled with choices he regretted. No doubt. He must have been someone who finds it hard to consider consequences. Making decisions based solely in the moment, not thinking of what’s to come. I think this is why I find him significant. He teaches a powerful lesson.
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
That stew is our temptation. It was cooked by the enemy.
At least, that’s how I choose to apply these verses to myself. Because I look at these verses and I think, “it could have been the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Esau.” But Esau wasn’t thinking. And then I sit back and wonder, “how often do I think?”
You see, Esau chose to write himself out of the story. He chose instant short lived satisfaction over his calling, the chain of events that led to Christ. He didn’t think of God in that moment at all.
The enemy knows he can’t take you to hell. But that doesn’t mean he won’t try to keep you from living for Christ here on earth. His stew has been simmering all day just to entice you. He knows what will tempt you. He’s telling you to breath in that aroma.
“It smells good, doesn’t it?”
“It’ll taste good too.”
“You know you’ll like it and enjoy it.”
“It’ll make you feel good, satisfied.”
But the thing he won’t tell you, is it’s not satisfying. You’ll be hungry again. And when you are, he’ll just tell you these things again. Know why? Because he wants you to choose his short lived stew over God’s eternal feast. He wants you to be distracted with his stew and not think about the coming feast at all…. Making you inactive.
No, Esau teaches a powerful lesson to us. We don’t know what we’re giving up when we sit down and eat the enemy’s stew. God has a plan for us. A plan that fulfills His will. We can’t follow through if we keep sitting down to eat stew.
Don’t write yourself out of God’s story. Don’t give in to temptation. It’ll only make you inactive. It’ll only make you hungry again.
“Desire can keep you from your destiny.”Levi Lusko