Genesis 25:29-34 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.
Have you ever been really hungry? In America, most of us don’t actually know what that feels like. Yet we say things like, “I’m starving!” No, you are not. I can agree that we certainly feel the pains of hunger. Blood sugars drop, we get a little woozy, we become irrational. Sometimes I get really grumpy when I am hungry. Hunger changes things. Our flesh cries out, “feed me!”
Hunger changed things for Esau, too. He was so hungry that he made a very irrational decision. His stomach gave away his birthright! Can you just picture Esau? There he is after a long day of hunting (it may have even been days) and smells that heavenly stew Jacob was cooking. His salivary glands kick into overdrive as his eyes lock in on the warm bread. “Jacob, help a brother out!” That’s when Jacob sees the opportunity and makes a deal. He could have just taken the time to make his own meal, but he wanted food now! Esau’s appetite did him in.
We, too, have appetites that cause us to give away what God has for us. We crave after things that give us gratification in the moment. We feed our flesh on the things of this world. We want satisfaction now. However, God doesn’t always work that way. He calls us to be steadfast, to be holy, to pursue Him. He has an inheritance for us that is long lasting. If we are going to receive all that He has for us, we must quiet our hungry stomachs and ignore our fleshly cravings. Don’t make the same mistake Esau did.
*Are you led by the hunger of your flesh? What can you do today to quiet that craving?