Esau Sells His Birthright

Bible Reading: Genesis 25: 29-34

Memory Verse: Colossians 3:2  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

In elementary school, my friends and I would swap food at lunch.  I always tried to trade for something better. Ham sandwich was better than egg salad.  You couldn’t get anything for celery sticks.

Esau and Jacob traded too.  Esau, the older brother, would receive a better inheritance.  His grandpa Abraham’s promises would normally go to him, as it had gone to his brother.

Jacob wanted God’s promises for himself and thought about how he could get it.

Esau, the hairy older brother, loved hunting, while Jacob liked to stay at home. One day, while Jacob was cooking up some stew, Esau came back from one of his hunting trips. He was super hungry.

“Give me that yummy red stew.  I am starving,” Esau said.

“Okay. I’ll swap you the soup for your birthright,” Jacob said.

“What good is a birthright if I starve to death,” Esau said.
The brothers weren’t joking.  Esau made a vow that his rights belonged to Jacob. He slurped up the soup, wiped his chin, and forgot all about it.

Jacob was sneaky, but God blessed him anyway. He really wanted God’s gifts.  Esau only thought about his stomach.   You wouldn’t trade your family’s house for a Happy Meal, but Esau didn’t see that.

We’ve been given blessings from God, but many people swap for much less.  They focus on money, or having fun.  They trade God’s eternal promises, for stuff here on earth that won’t last.

Don’t be a silly Esau and trade God’s best for temporary things.

What about you?

What is the focus of your life?

If a stranger watched how you spent your time and money, what would they think your life was focused on?


Help me, Father God, to see what’s important in this life.  Let me chase after the eternal things so that I will please you, and not the silly things of this world.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.