I stole these ideas from Andy Stanley. At least, the start of them. Nothing you read here originated with me, but it is a result of Andy’s Opening Session at Catalyst. And since I’m still reflecting on it after 6 months, it’s making the blog.
“As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home. Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. Esau said to Jacob, ‘I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!’
‘All right,’ Jacob replied, ‘but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.’
‘Look, I’m dying of starvation!’ said Esau. ‘What good is my birthright to me now?'”
From the moment Esau was born, he was being groomed (like a Prince) to succeed in the role intended for him. As the firstborn son, he would receive double the inheritance and assume the leadership of the family, especially the spiritual leadership, when his Father died.
Something this important, this vital to their family’s survival would have been planned for, looked forward to, even discussed among the family openly and often. So openly, that both Rebekah and Jacob planned and schemed until the day came where Esau’s longing outweighed his wisdom.
Everything would change based on one action.
Go the right way, the way he had been prepared for since birth, and the God of Abraham, Isaac and …Esau… would build a nation out of them. He would be their God and they would be His people. He would prosper them. These were the promises of God to Esau.
But Esau was hungry, now.
His desire was real. His desire was unmet. And faced with this need, he looked to what he could do now.
The implications are huge. We assume a fork in the road will be obvious. That when we’re confronted with a choice that could change our lives, we’ll see it long before we have to make it. If we ever had to choose between our destiny and our desire, we’d never settle for a bowl of soup.
To Esau though, his desire felt like, maybe even was, life or death. He felt he had to act. Esau had to do something because the God who promised to build a nation out of him was about to let him die.
The desire isn’t the problem. Esau was hungry and he needed to eat.
The problem is this, Esau forgot. He forgot who he was. He forgot what God had promised him. He never considered, it would seem, that if God was true to His word and He truly cared about Esau that God had to provide a way to meet this need.
Esau’s desire overcame his destiny and his confidence in God. In the midst of need, God was late, not paying attention, or worse, not there. So, Esau traded the promises of God to meet his need.
Where are we tempted to do the same? Are you drooling over a bowl of soup when you can know the God who provides a feast?
Remember who you are. Remember the promises God has made to you. He will be your God and you will be His child. He will prosper you.
If you have a story of Him doing just that, please share it in the comments.