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Click here to read Genesis 25 on BibleGateway.com

jacob-and-esauGenesis is one of my favorite books of the Bible. It’s so easy to read; not as easy as a month’s worth of Far Side of course, but slightly easier than Leviticus. However, sometimes Genesis makes a powerful point, but leaves the punch unsaid. It’s like Thanksgiving dinner, but then leaving off the pie. The exclamation point is missing, and it leaves me wanting a little bit of Bible pie. Well, in line with my obvious commitment to benefit mankind by sitting on my rear and typing, today we shall dish up the holy pie.


In Genesis 25, we get to meet the brothers of Esau and Jacob. It might be a bit of an understatement to say they had a strained relationship. While sibling rivalry exists in every family, you rarely see brothers handing out death threats or dangling a bowl of soup in front of a starving brother for money. But that’s what we see Jacob doing; Esau comes home from a long day on the hunting trail, and Jacob is working over the Foreman Grill with a large steak for him. Esau begs for a lil taste, which Jacob is happy to give him…in exchange for his birthright. In essence, Jacob offers to sell a sirloin if Esau will give up his future. Surprisingly, Esau agrees.  However, the Bible makes the rather drastic comment that Esau “despised” his birthright.

It used to appear to me that Esau got kind of a bum deal. He was starving, and his conniving brother ripped him off in a moment of weakness. To top it off, the Bible treats it like his fault, and for thousands of years people have been laughing at his moron-acy. Yet if we think about it a little longer, we can see that perhaps Esau is more at fault that might first appear.


Let’s do a Let’s Pretend. Fact one – Esau knew that God had blessed Grandpa Abraham and Papa Isaac, so he knew the blessing of God was coming down to the next son in line. Fact two – he knew Abraham had been greatly tested by God, and was subsequently blessed. Fact three – ok, i lied; i have no fact three.

So, let’s pretend that Esau, rather than selling his birthright, says no. He replies “Jacob, i’m really starving, but I know if you don’t provide for me, God will provide some other way, because He has promised to be faithful to our family.” Do you really think God would not have honored that? Maybe Esau would be the blessed one; maybe he would have had the big family; maybe we’d be talking about the “children of Esau” and the Esaulite nation in the Middle East today. If had just waited a small bit longer, who knows what would have happened.

How many times have we missed out on God’s full blessing because we bail out when we get a little hungry? Maybe if we had prayed just five more minutes, God would  have spoken louder. Maybe if we had stayed just two minutes longer at church, we would have made a lifelong friend. Maybe if we had read one more verse, we would have heard the Holy Spirit speak and change our lives.

Today, I challenge you to give God just a little more. If you usually read a chapter in the Bible everyday, read 2. If you spend 5 minutes in prayer, spend 7. Your life may just change forever.

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