Bible Study Lesson — Genesis 25:19-34
You might remember the story of Jacob and Esau and how greed & “wanting it now” affected their lives and the lives of future generations.
In this Bible study lesson from Genesis Esau decides to go for the immediate gratification of selling his birthright to Jacob.
Did he make the right decision?
Who was to blame?
Story of Jacob and Esau – Esau Sells His Birthright to Jacob
When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents.
Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.”
Therefore his name was called Edom.
But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.”
Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?”
And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way.
Thus Esau despised his birthright. – Genesis 25:27-34 NASB
More from Making Christ Known ..
What is a Birthright?
A birthright is a very special honor given to the eldest son in Israel’s tradition. The older son with the birthright receives double portions of the inheritance and is named the leader of the clan.
So, this was no minute trinket Esau was giving up when he decided to sell his birthright to Jacob.
Who Is To Blame? Jacob or Esau?
We are tempted to place all the blame on Jacob for taking advantage of poor Esau but there is another angle to this story.
Esau showed that he cared very little about the spiritual gifts he had received. He traded it all away without much thought — for a bowl of soup and some bread.
If Esau had decided to keep his birthright he would have received untold blessings in the future.
He decided to go after the immediate pleasures of life instead of waiting for what was rightfully his.
Esau reacted to this situation primarily on impulse without a second thought of how it would affect his future, and the future of generations to come (Two nations divided).
Have We “Sold Our Birthright”?
Do we sometimes elect to act on our immediate emotions when situations arise? Most things that happen in our lives have two or more possible choices we can make.
1. We can go for satisfying our immediate needs and the future can take care of itself
2. or, we can consider what our decision today will bring later.
Consequences of “Now”
We may feel full and satisfied with the “now” decision and may even feel as if we have conquered, seeing ourselves as powerful by taking immediate action.
But sometimes acting in haste has consequences such as Esau’s – even if not on as great of a scale as these Bible verses proclaim.
I dealt with this experience when I decided to quit smoking years ago.
I found that the urge for a cigarette only lasted about three minutes. So, I felt that if I could reject the temptation for that period I would be okay until the next urge – with each lasting a little less in time.
Using this method I’m happy to say that I am still smoke-free and don’t have those urges any longer.
My decision to quit also affected my future health.
When Temptation Strikes
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”0781414199″ locale=”US” src=”https://makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/51LIBYBeXEL.SL160.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”107″]Whether it’s smoking that haunts you or a sexual desire which may make a marriage vow seem less important, take a moment of pause.
Remember that the temptation won’t last forever. You’ll find that you can overcome these tempting moments which are certain to come your way with God’s help.
Let’s not give away our birthrights.
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to Read the verse, John 3:16 to get more information.