Life is a journey of choices, and within those choices lie the potential for consequences. We embark on this exploration through the story in Genesis, where we see two brothers, Jacob and Esau. Their choices send ripples through history, leaving us with wisdom on what truly matters, our life's mission, and the awesome gifts God's given us.
29 One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”) 31 “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.” 32 “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?” 33 But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.
Conflict Separates Us, But Agreement Strengthens Us
In the lives of Jacob and Esau, they grew up completely different one the rightful owner of the birthright and one coveting Esau's birthright. It serves as a reminder that conflict can rob us of the fellowship and support that could strengthen us in our journey. The Bible encourages us to seek agreement and harmony in our relationships "How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!" Psalms 133:1 Instead of focusing on disputes, let's strive for unity and understanding. You and I were created in God’s likeness and image to carry on his legacy and God’s authority through his son, Jesus Christ.
You Are Uniquely Created and Gifted by God
Esau and Jacob were twins, yet they had vastly different interests and callings. Esau was an outdoorsman, while Jacob had a quieter temperament and learned to cook. Their differences illustrate that each of us is uniquely created and gifted by God. It's crucial to recognize and appreciate the gifts God has given us instead of being jealous of others' abilities. The apostle Paul reinforces this wisdom in Galatians 6:4 when he urges us to "pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else." Our journey towards fulfillment starts with the acknowledgment of our God-given uniqueness. Each of us is a creation by God with a purpose greater than ourself. Comparison can steal our joy and purpose. Embrace your uniqueness, calling, and use your gifts to honor God.
Pursue the Gifts of God
Jacob coveted the birthright because he understood its significance. He recognized that it meant inheriting his father's authority and legacy. This understanding drove him to pursue the birthright tirelessly. Similarly, we must pursue the gifts and callings that God has placed in our lives. God has a unique plan for each of us, and we shouldn't neglect or disregard our God-given calling. It's essential to pay attention to our own gifts, develop them, and use them to serve God and others.
Jacob and Esau's story serves as a cautionary story about the consequences of trading something immensely valuable for temporary satisfaction. Esau's decision to trade his birthright for a bowl of stew seemed impulsive, but it stemmed from a disregard for his inheritance and calling.
As we navigate our own life choices, let's remember the lessons from Jacob and Esau. Strive for harmony in relationships, appreciate your unique gifts, and pursue God's calling for your life. Don't trade your birthright, your purpose, your inheritance for fleeting desires. Instead, embrace your God-given identity and live out the plan He has for you.
God, we come before you with humble hearts to serve you. Help us to recognize the conflicts in our lives that separate us from others and lead us away from your purpose. Give us the wisdom and grace to seek agreement and harmony in our relationships, as your Word says. Lord, open our eyes to the gifts and talents you have given us. May we cherish these gifts, and not take them for granted. Guard our hearts against jealousy or comparison, and help us to appreciate others. Strengthen us to live out our identity and calling from you, serving you faithfully and bringing honor to your name. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.