Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. (Genesis 25:29-33).
I can remember the first time i heard the story of Esau and Jacob. I was in a little girl in our kids sunday school class. My first impression about the story was how foolish Esau was. I remember thinking what kind of hunger would make someone sell something that valuable. I sometimes thought about the fact that Jacob wasn’t a nice brother but i mostly focused on Esau. Interestingly, my opinion about the story remained the same until recently when i realised that there are so many Esaus out there including me.
The story says Esau came in from the field. So he wasn’t idle. He was working very hard just like many of us today. For the purpose of this write up, i will concentrate on the spiritual aspect of this story. Esau’s field represents our assignment. He was busy working in his calling just like many of us today. He was exhausted from working. I would like to think he was diligent in his work; if not he won’t have had a good meat to bring to his father (Genesis 27). God wants us to be diligent in our work (Proverbs 22:9). This wasn’t the problem with Esau. He was exhausted due to hard work. The exhaustion led to desperation.
Watch what you do when you are tired. You might have been working hard on your calling and you have become desperate to get your reward. Esau was hungry. He wanted ‘his food’ NOW because he was desperate.
Does that sound familiar? Well it certainly does to me. How many times have we traded God’s perfect will for our permissive will because we are desperate? Esau’s desperation made him not to value what he had. He was desperate just like us sometimes. His desperation cost him the most valuable thing he had. He lost his birthright.
Your reason for being desperate might be justifiable but often times, the result of the action we take afterwards can be very devastating. Sarai was very desperate to give Abram a child, that she made him sleep with her maid. Even if they had a child, that wasn’t the promised child (Genesis 16:4).
There is an African adage that says ‘a child that is desperate ends up with a yam that isn’t properly cooked’. Yam is a root crop that doesn’t taste nice when not cooked properly. Is what you are holding your ‘Isaac’ or have you been given ‘Ismeal’ as a result of your desperation?
Many of us are walking around with premature blessings. We are not patient enough to wait for God’s best for us. The sad thing is the problem that arises due to this. We are know the impact of Sarai and Abram’s action on the world today. Esau’s action robbed him of his position in his father’s house.
Jacob said ‘sell me your birthright NOW’. Esau agreed because he wanted the food NOW.
What do you want NOW? Is it God’s time for you to have it? There is nothing like waiting for God’s perfect timing. That is when we can enjoy our blessings fully. What agreement are you reaching in order to get your ‘miracle’ quicker? What deals are you agreeing to just because it seems your blessing isn’t coming as quick as you want it to? The devil will always present a gift to us but he will always minimise what we are loosing to get that gift.
Your dignity is more valuable than that contract or relationship. Your reputation is more valuable than that job offer. Nothing is what trading your birthright for. Wait for your appointed time.