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.  Everyone tried to trade for something they liked better. Ham sandwich was better than egg salad.  You couldn’t get anything for celery sticks.

On this day, Esau and Jacob swapped too. Esau was super hungry and asked to eat Jacob’s stew.

Jacob wanted something better.  His older brother, would get a better inheritance.  His grandpa Abraham’s promises would normally go to Esau, just as it had gone to his father, Isaac.

Jacob wanted God’s promises for himself and thought about how he could trick Esau into getting 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 around. 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 the important things, God’s gifts.  Esau only thought about his stomach. It would be like trading your family’s house for a Happy Meal. 

We’ve been given blessings from God, but many people swap for far less.  Instead of focusing on God’s kingdom, they try to make lots of money, or trying to be popular.  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.