Ever made a trade you regretted immediately? In first grade, I traded my harmonica so that I could take another’s place to clean the chalk board. Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the trades we make in life don’t get much better.
Jacob was a home body. He was a momma’s boy. Apparently, he was also pretty shrewd at making a one-sided deal. Esau was a hunter, a man’s man that came back from a hard day’s work. In his hunger and exhaustion, he was willing to trade away the one thing he had going for him- his birthright.
The birthright was a big deal. It meant a double portion of the father’s inheritance. With only two sons, Isaac would divide his estate into three equal parts and Esau would be given two of them. One would probably say that Jacob was the villain here. He took advantage of a tired and hungry brother. He stole a prize promised to Esau from his birth. While all of that is true, Esau doesn’t sit by totally innocent.
Esau was prone to exaggerate. He goes so far as to say, “I’m about to die.” While he felt that in that moment, it probably wasn’t true. There is a hunger for immediate satisfaction by all of us. That desire is where sin creeps in and pushes a wedge between us and God.
The trades we make are more subtle than giving away our obvious inheritance. Trades we often make: television for a conversation with our spouse, work/money for our families, or even our comfort for God’ call. During this time of voluntarily doing without, it provides much more time for us to see what’s left on the inside.
*Can you think of any trades that you have made today that could lead to long-term loss? What about the last week, month, or year?
*Restore some balance today. Think of the “immediate” that you can do without. Compare them to the things you cannot do without.