TO CHEW ON: "Jacob replied, 'First sell me your birthright.'
'Look, I am about to die,' Esau said. 'What good is the birthright to me?'"Genesis 25:31-32
Though Jacob and Esau (sons of Isaac and Rebekah) were twins, they were far from identical. What things do we know about them that show how different they were? (Genesis 25:27-28)
One day when Esau came back from hunting, Jacob was making stew. When hungry Esau asked Jacob for some stew to eat, Jacob used his cleverness to get Esau to promise him the birthright in exchange for a pot of stew.
A birthright was a big deal. It was what the oldest son in a family inherited. As firstborn of the twins and the oldest son, Esau’s inheritance was twice as big as Jacob’s. The birthright also brought with it the job of being the family leader next to Isaac.
But in one reckless moment, Esau said, “What good is a birthright to me if I die by hunger anyway?” Then he promised Jacob his birthright if he would give him a bowl of stew. Later he regretted this decision with all his heart.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to make decisions based on wisdom, not impulse. Amen.
MORE: Got to have it - NOW!
It’s natural to want things NOW! But insisting we get what we want immediately is often not wise.
Sort these things into two groups.
- Which things satisfy right away and go on the Instant Reward (IR) pile?
- Which give a reward later and go on the Delayed Reward (DR) pile?
1. ____ Spending all your money on gum and candy.
2. ____ Waiting till mealtime to eat with your family.
3. ____ Spending all your free time on play.
4. ____ Nibbling on snacks whenever you’re hungry, then skipping meals later.
5. ____ Practicing a musical instrument for half an hour a day.
6. ____ Saving your money by putting some in a bank.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.