The Lord bless you and keep you. (Numbers 6:24)
The Bible continues the story of Jacob and Esau. When the twins were young adults, Esau came in from the field hungry. Jacob offered the soup he was cooking in exchange for Esau’s birthright, and Esau consented. Esau probably wasn’t starving, but he apparently didn’t care enough about his birthright to hold on to it and wait for some food. Jacob, on the other hand, seems to have cared greatly about the birthright and the rights and respects of the older son, and Jacob would seemingly do anything to achieve them. In this case, he didn’t need to do more than cook some soup.
The birthright at stake was both a leadership position in the family a guarantee that the older son would be given a double share of the inheritance. For Esau, there seems to be an almost careless or uncaring attitude toward his birthright. He is far more interested in being satisfied at the moment than enjoying the secure future his birthright would afford.
Without a doubt, Jacob was opportunistic, catching his brother in a weak moment. Yet Esau was also responsible for his own actions and decisions. It is interesting to think about the hospitality of Abraham to three strangers in contrast to Jacob’s lack of hospitality toward his own brother. Nevertheless, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew. By doing so, he drastically altered his future and the future of his descendants. The red color of the stew is linked to Esau’s name, or more specifically to the name Edom, the nation of Esau’s descendants. When Esau identifies the “red stuff” in the soup (Genesis 25:30), it’s a play on words that refers to the nation of Edom, which at that moment in time became second to the future nation of Israel, all because Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup.
In this lesson, encourage your children to think beyond instant gratification and to see the rewards that may come with patience.
• Patience is important.
• God has big plans for our lives.
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