“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’m exhausted.’ Therefore, his name was called Edom. Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright now.’ Esau said, ‘I’m 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.”
There’s so much we could talk about in this passage. But the bottom line that I want to lead us to pray in light of is Esau in his desperation, his hunger for food was willing to sell his birthright for what? For a bowl of soup. He exchanged his birthright for a bowl of soup, something so valuable, his birthright, something so weighty and really, in a sense, wonderful for something so temporary and light and trivial.
Now the thing is that obviously seemed like a huge deal to him at that moment. I’m hungry and I want, I need some food now, yet could he have not waited just a few more hours, just a little bit longer, even another day, if necessary, in order to hold on to his birthright.
And in this story, I want us to see a picture of our own lives, how we are all prone to let go of things that are valuable for that which is trivial, to let go of things that are eternal for things in this world that are temporary and specifically, to see how physical, bodily impulses can lead us to make quick emotional, rash decisions that we will regret.
I think of so many stories of followers of Jesus, of Christian leaders, pastors who have made horrible decisions, exchanging things that are eternally wonderful and valuable for temporary trivial pleasures in this world, in ways that they lose so much for so little.
And so I want to lead us to pray. God, guard every single one of our hearts, minds, and bodies from the temptation of sin today and tomorrow and the next day, the next day. Help us to remember Genesis Chapter 25: Verses 29 through 34 how Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. And we pray that you would keep us from doing that, from letting go of things that are precious and valuable and even eternal for things that are temporary and trivial and won’t last and are not that important. God, to help us, keep us, we pray. Guard us from every one of us.
I pray this over my life. I pray this over every single person who’s listening right now. Help us to all hold fast to that which is most precious in this world, to people in this world, to our faith in You, to love for You, to love for others, to walking in obedience to You. God, help us to obey You no matter what the physical urge is at that moment, no matter what the bodily desire might be. God, we pray that you’d help us to think rightly, wisely, and to act based on your word and your wisdom and your truth, even when our emotions, our bodily, physical desires are saying different. God, we pray that you would help us to glorify You and hold on to that which is most precious in Your sight and in our lives, to hold on to that which You have called us to hold on to and not to surrender it for bowls of soup in this world.
We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.