Expensive Soup

June 19, 2018

Good Morning Fellow Travelers,

Read: Genesis 25:19-34

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

Brothers do not always get along well.  Parents who engage in partiality between their children do them a great disfavor.  Nothing justifies such partiality, and it is likely that Isaac and Rebekah’s partiality contributed to what happened in today’s Bible reading.

When Esau came home ravenously hungry and asked for some of Jacob’s lentil soup, Jacob decided to bargain with him: “I’ll trade this soup for your birthright.”  What happened next is unbelievable.  Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup!
The birthright normally belonged to the eldest son, who would receive a double portion of his father’s possessions.  He also became the head of the tribe upon the father’s death.  Its greatest significance in this case was that the birthright included God’s covenant promise to Abraham, by which all nations would be blessed through the coming of the Messiah.  History would read differently if Esau had not been so indifferent to something so precious.

The time came when Esau recognized (at least in part) the great worth of the birthright he had despised—but it was too late.  Hebrews 12:17 says, “He found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”  If we are Christians, we too have a birthright of high value.  There are fearful and lasting consequences for thoughtlessly selling it, such as by doing things to be accepted or “cool.”  Some people have given up their spiritual birthright for something as useless as a grudge.

Our eternal birthright includes being “heirs of God, and joint-­heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).  Let us never squander that for a bowl of soup.

 – James Baer