So way back in the day, in the OT, Abraham had two sons. The firstborn was Esau, and then the other one was Jacob. The story goes that “Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted.” So he said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” Jacob was pretty crafty, and so he said, “Sell me your birthright now.”
Esau, obviously completely famished from his work, said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?”
So Jacob insisted, “Swear to me now.” So Esau swore to him and sold him his birthright. The story concludes that “Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”
Giving up your birthright over lentil stew. Ridiculous, right?
Although you don’t know this lentil stew…
Probably you all know me as that girl who can, does, and loves to eat insanely spicy food. And this is totally true. Make no mistake. I was just telling someone the other day that almost everything is better when you add cayenne (yes, this even applies to chocolate).
But this lentil stew. Kusherie. De. li. ci. ous.
It’s a good thing I’m the youngest already, isn’t it?
However, I’ll take this moment to make a theological point, and point out how often this is truly what we do. We put something trivial and momentary (such as lentil stew) above what really matters. As the story of Jacob and Esau so clearly illustrates, it is not those who are children and heirs by human blood. Rather, it’s the children of the promise who are counted as offspring (Romans 9:8). Under the New Covenant, made in Christ’s precious blood, we are co-heirs with Christ, who is firstborn over all creation.
We have been blessed with “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1:3) And our Heavenly Father, “who did not spare his own Son but gave Him up for us all, […] will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
As the old hymn says “That when I think that God His Son not sparing // sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in … then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee // my Lord, how great Thou art!”
And we would give this up over a bowl of lentils?