Several years ago, I almost skipped a Tuesday-night Bible study at my church—something I just about never do. I wasn’t feeling very well but there was a bit more to it than that. I guess I had the “blahs” and was welcoming an excuse to stay home. I ended up going late because I overslept when I took a much-needed nap, but I did go. God had a plan and He wasn’t going to let me off easy!
When I slipped into my seat after arriving, I opened my Bible to the chapter we had been studying and immediately saw this passage from Hebrews 12:
14- Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15- See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16- See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17- Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.
What a powerful message! How many times have you and I given up blessings from the Lord over a “bowl of soup”—a moment’s pleasure, a foolish diversion, tasteless entertainment? How many of us, like I almost did, give up opportunities for spiritual growth just because we feel too lazy to do the right thing? Worse still, how many people are giving up their inheritance for even less than a bowl of soup? For life-threatening poison such as sinful indulgences or bitter resentments?
Esau’s story isn’t just the makings of a neat little Sunday School lesson. Paul, in writing to the Hebrews, used Esau’s example to convict believers of sin and to warn them of the consequences of taking God’s gift of grace for granted.
When Esau begged Jacob for a meal, that was the most important thing on his mind. It was an instinctive cry to have his immediate needs met. But he acted foolishly. He devalued the importance of his inheritance in order to find physical satisfaction.
We scoff at Esau’s obvious lack of wisdom, don’t we? Yet aren’t we guilty of the same lapses in judgment? Aren’t we guilty of placing greater importance on temporal, physical gains than on eternal, spiritual aspirations?
Learn a lesson from Esau. Don’t give up your inheritance for a bowl of soup!