I've been reading through Genesis again, and I started writing down the thoughts that I've been pondering on these familiar passages. They are not profound in even the smallest stretch of imagination, but they are personal. I may share some old ones, so they could be out of order, but here is one that keeps cropping up in my conversations with Christ and with my friends.
Yesterday I read about Jacob and Esau and the selling of the birthright. How quickly I saw a parallel between me and Esau! How weary I become and how hungry I am for something -- and when it is near me, I overemphasize its importance-- it becomes my entire gaze, and the future no longer matters. I have to have that. I just have to.
Recognize the extreme emotionalism of Esau? "I'm about to die-- of what use is a birthright to me?" Doesn't it ring hauntingly familiar to our own remarks in times of loneliness or sorrow? "I'll never figure this out"... "My life is over"... "It's always the same thing; I may as well give up".
Notice how exhaustion plays such a hand in this outlook that had no basis in truth. There really was no fear of a young strapping man collapsing in death because he had little to eat and a long work day, but then again, hunger and weariness never act on reason or logic, do they? Instead, we allow them to become relentless imaginations until they are submitted to as inevitable masters.
So what was the pawn sacrificed in this small, momentary game? Esau's birthright. His standing in the patriarchal line.
his honorable name,
his rights and privileges of a firstborn---
all traded for a taste on the tongue and a satisfied stomach!
Had Esau rested in the hope of his future instead of grasping at the relief of the present, we would today be praying to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Esau. Instead, his obedience to relieving the hunger-- even for one brief hour-- led to his brother's blessing and his own obscurity.
Oh weary heart who is hungry for temporary relief-- do not be swayed in this moment to abandon the good standing in which you have been called! You are an adopted child of the King of Kings! Your every step is guarded and designed by this loving Father. He knows you are tired; He sees your frailty... but He asks you to embrace the honor of your birthright instead of sitting down to one bowl of stew. Will you yet look at the Jacob-bargain being offered you now and choose to falter at the abundant (though seemingly far-off) promises of your Patriarchal Dad? May it not be! Do not, dear one, do NOT settle here!