In times of famine …


Genesis 26:1 starts out by saying that there was a  famine in the land and distinguishes this famine to be second to the one that happened during time of Isaac’s father, Abraham (Genesis 12:10) immediately. Interestingly though, you will notice that both Abraham and now his son Isaac, relocate to tide over the famine by moving south toward the land of Egypt. Abraham goes to Egypt, and Isaac goes to the philistine land of Gerar, ruled by Abimelech. In both accounts, we see that instead of seeking the LORD for solace over the famine, Abraham and Isaac both seek the provisions of a foreign land and king. God had promised Abraham, a land flowing with milk and honey – implying that it would be a prosperous land – a promise that a couple of famines cannot undermine. Yet we see from this account of father son duo, that even ones of faith, can sometimes focus on the things they see (like a famine) and forget to seek the LORD God.

Points to ponder:
In times of famine, may we not seek the provisions and solace of any earthly king or kingdom, but instead let us seek the LORD God and his righteousness, and all things shall be added unto us (Matthew 6:33). If you are in a famine – a famine for relationship, a famine for provisions – seek ye the LORD God first.

Genesis 26:1 (KJV)
1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.

 

Being doubly foolish


On one hand, while Esau was extremely foolish in despising his birthright for some lentil soup, his foolishness was compounded when he failed to realize the folly of his decision, to gratify his momentary hunger,  and instead of repenting and seeking to reclaim his lost birth right, he simply rose up and walked away from the scene (Genesis 25:33-34).

To be double foolish is to not repent but to walk away.

Points to ponder:
To all who believe in Jesus and who have received him, God has given them the right to be called his children and despising our born again right by walking according to the flesh, gratifying momentary sinful pleasures, and not according to the Holy Spirit of God is foolish. But what is being doubly foolish is – when we do not repent and seek to reclaiming the joy of God’s salvation, but instead in an apostate way, blaspheming against the Holy Spirit of God, but not repenting and simply rising up and walking away. Are you and I doubly foolish?

Genesis 25:33-34 (KJV)
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Avoid Hungry Decisions


It goes without saying from experience that when a person is hungry, he or she is usually irritated and subject to make irrational decisions. While we can draw from several of our own life experiences to substantiate this fact, we have a classic example of this recorded in the Holy Bible. Esau, the first born son of Isaac and Rebekah, made a foolish and irrational decision to sell his birthright to his younger twin brother for a bowl of lentil soup, because he was famished and hungry (Genesis 25:29-34).

 

From this we can learn that we ought to avoid making decisions when we are hungry. This does not necessarily apply just to physical hunger – but hunger for power, position, prosperity, pleasure or popularity.

Points to ponder:
What are hungry for? Unless you hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness – avoid hungry decisions.

Genesis 25:29-34 (KJV)
29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Profit for the flesh or Spirit


One of the first and saddest questions that was asked was the question posed by Esau, wherein in his hunger, he despised his birthright to his cunning brother, Jacob and asked “Behold, I am at the point of death (due to hunger), What profit shall this birthright do to me?” (Genesis 25:32) Esau was focused on gratifying his physical desires and saw profit from the perspective of his flesh.

Points to ponder:
Many a times, we are like Esau as well – seeking to gratify our physical desires and at these times, we ought to be reminded on the warning from Jesus – What shall it profit a man if he was to gain the whole world and yet lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36) God is seeking for us to look at our life with the perspective of how his Holy Spirit in our profits and not how our flesh profits. Our profit of being giving the right of being God’s children when we believe in Jesus (John 1:12), outweighs any other gain we can ever have, for we can gain the whole world and still die spiritually.

Genesis 25:32 (KJV)
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

Mark 8:36 (KJV)
34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Even worse than death


Genesis 25:27-34 records an account of two brothers; Esau and Jacob – the first and second born sons (twins) of Isaac and Rebekah and how Esau despised his birthright as the first born to his brother Jacob. The Bible records that Esau was a cunning hunter, yet, it is evident that Jacob was the real cunning brother, who cornered his brother and hunted Esau’s birthright. During the times of Esau and Jacob, the Bible establishes that the birthright entitled its holder to a first and double portion of the inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:15-17).

In this account, Esau returned from the field famished and was faint and when he saw the red pottage (bowl of lentil soup) that Jacob had made, he asked from some. Jacob responded with a proposition, that Esau was to sell his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of red pottage. To this, Esau, impulsively, seeking to gratify the desires of his flesh, responds by saying that “he was at the point of death due to his hunger” and questions as to “what profit his birthright would bring to him, should he die?”, thereby foolishly selling his birthright.

In order to gratify his fleshly desires, Esau relinquished and despised his God ordained spiritual right as the firstborn. This was a foolish act for to lose you God given rights and inheritance is worse that physical death itself, which Esau failed to recognize.

Points to ponder:
Let us not be like Esau, who for living for the moment, chose to give up on his inheritance and rights as the firstborn. Let us not seek to gratify our selfish fleshly desires relinquishing our spiritual right – the right to be called the sons of God, when we believe in Jesus Christ and receive him (John 1:12). To all who are born again, by believing in Jesus, we are given the right to be called the children of God (John 1:12) and to relinquish our right as sons/daughters of God is worse that death.

Genesis 25:27-34 (KJV)
27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Be a Jacob


Genesis 25:24-26 records the birth of Esau and Jacob, the twin boys of Isaac and Rebekah. Esau, the firstborn is described of his external appearance as a hairy red child while until later we don’t learn that Jacob, the secondborn was relatively not quite as hirsute. However, in this account, interestingly, it is mentioned that Esau’s brother was named Jacob as he grabbed on to the heel of his brother as he was being born. Jacob means a supplanter or one who follows on another’s heel.

If we were to look at this account with a non-judgmental perspective, we learn that Jacob grabbed on to his brother’s heel. In later accounts, we also learn that Jacob grabbed on to (wrestled with) God and would not let go until he was blessed (Genesis 32:25-32).

Points to ponder:
Can we follow on to the heels of Christ Jesus, grabbing on to God and never letting go, seeking his blessings? Can we also be a Jacob?

Genesis 25:24-26 (KJV)
24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

Two manners of people


Genesis 25:23 records the declaration of the Lord, to Rebekah, about her twins – Esau and Jacob. This is what the Lord says, that they will be two manners of people. We learn from later accounts in the book of Genesis, that Esau was a man who was willing to let go of even his birthright to gratify his hunger, while Jacob would even go to the lengths of wrestling with God and would not let go, unless he was blessed by God. This resulted in Jacob becoming infirm physically. These were clearly two manners of people, even though they were brothers.

Points to ponder:
Esau was a man who was willing to give up his spiritual blessings (birthright as the firstborn) to satisfy his physical hunger. Jacob was a man who was unwilling to give up his spiritual blessing even at the cost of physical harm. One gratified the flesh and grieved the Spirit. The other gratified the Spirit and grieved the flesh.
What manner of people are you? Gratifying physical wants or gaining spiritual needs – what manner of people are you?

Genesis 25:23 (KJV)
23 And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.