My four-year-old granddaughter sat on the bar stool, looking across the counter to where I prepared lunch at the kitchen sink. She said, “I can’t wait for the soup to cook; I’m so hungry.”
“What would you trade for some soup?” I told her the Bible story of the older brother who sells his inheritance to his younger brother for a bowl of stew. Since she’s the firstborn in her family and has a younger brother, she understood–sort of.
After lunch, I thought about why Esau would trade–in those times–something so valuable for a temporary satisfaction. He couldn’t have valued one meal more than his father’s inheritance. Was he simple-minded?
We think it crazy that Esau would trade a simple meal of bread and lentil stew for the firstborn privileges of their father’s wealth, but he’s famished after a day of hunting and tells Jacob his birthright is no good if he’s about to die. Hyperbole.
Maybe he doesn’t care because he believes he doesn’t need his father’s assets to prosper. Being a “skillful hunter, a man of the open country,” he may believe he can take care of himself. Like many of us.
We depend on ourselves, believing we can do it, fix it, make it on our own just like Esau.
What are we trading for the simple pleasures in this life for our birthright?