BIBLE STORIES (28): POTTAGE FOR BIRTHRIGHT

One of the most intriguing stories in the Bible is recorded in the book of Genesis 25 from verse 29, the ramification of which still resounds in our time. In that biblical account, Jacob is said to have made “pottage”, or “stew” as rendered by some translations and versions of the bible. Esau, on returning from the field and faint, pleaded with Jacob to have some of the “…. red pottage; for I am faint” (v 30), which isn’t out of place to ask of ones brother. But Jacob took advantage of that to make a hefty demand, a life altering demand if you can but persevere to read to the end of this missive to understand why.

"THEN JACOB GAVE ESAU BREAD AND POTTAGE OF LENTILS; AND HE DID EAT AND DRINK, AND ROSE UP, AND WENT HIS WAY: THUS ESAU DESPISED HIS BIRTHRIGHT"  - GENESIS 25:34
“THEN JACOB GAVE ESAU BREAD AND POTTAGE OF LENTILS; AND HE DID EAT AND DRINK, AND ROSE UP, AND WENT HIS WAY: THUS ESAU DESPISED HIS BIRTHRIGHT”
– GENESIS 25:34

Remember, how in the installment before this, when at delivery Jacob’s hand was holding Esau’s as they made their way out of the womb? And how prior to that, both had struggled with each other in utero, so much that their mother, Rebekah had to consult YAHWEH and revelations concerning the twins was made to her? Recall also that I said that this might have been responsible for the love Rebekah had for Jacob, while Isaac who might not have been privy to the revelations loved Esau, not just because he was the first son and most likely to receive the blessing that had passed onto him from Abraham, but because he was also hardworking and made “venison” (v. 28) for him. Allow me also to remind you, as is trite to, that beside receiving the blessing from Abraham through Isaac to YAHWEH’s chosen, HE would also have to bless THE ONE, just like HE did to Isaac in Genesis 25:11 (And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that YAHWEH blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi), and if you read and fully understood the last installment, you’d know that YAHWEH’s body language favoured blessing Jacob over Esau, for reasons I have already stated.

Jacob was the child of promise, like Isaac, but he would have to fight his way to earn it, and not have it on a platter like Isaac, whose father Abraham chased out his elder contender (on the orders, as it were, of Sarah), Ishmael and her mother, Hagar then shared his possessions to his children by Keturah before resettling them elsewhere, so they will not disturb Isaac. However in the case of Jacob, Esau was on the line to getting his father’s blessing ahead of Jacob for the reasons aforementioned contrary to the will of YAHWEH. Jacob’s action show that he might have been privy to the “revelation”, possibly via his mother (who would become his accomplice at a later date). Jacob would have to employ tactics not physical to own the blessings of his father as promised to Abraham, which I think informed his decision to demand that his brother Esau, “… sell me this day thy birthright” (v. 31).

I’m sure you’d be wondering what significance this has in the scheme of things, but the truth is oftentimes, many of what happens in the physical have the spoken, or if you like, the spiritual element to power it. The symbolism of that “simple” trade would haunt Esau for the rest of his life. It wouldn’t matter what he did henceforth, regardless of his birth position, his father’s love towards him, and his hard work, he would never regain the position he sold to his brother. For Esau, he couldn’t care less, going on to say “… what profit shall this birthright do to me?” (v. 32), before swearing away his birthright to Jacob over “bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink…. thus Esau despised his birthright” (v. 34)

In the spiritual therefore Esau forfeited his birthright to his younger brother Jacob, though at that point nothing changed in the physical. Esau was still considered the elder and performed his role before all and sundry as that. We weren’t told that his father stopped loving him or any major change that one could point to, as direct effect of the sale of birthright in the spiritual, impacted on him in the physical. But you know, life isn’t just a few verses, but years that have to be lived, that Jacob and Esau lived and somewhere along the line that trade in the spiritual was bound to impact the physical, especially when it mattered most.

The moral here therefore is for us to desist from mortgaging our future or the ones of our offsprings because of our today or now. We must circumspectly study situations before jumping into them, do all the due diligence required and if found to be unsatisfactory desist, even flee from such if we can, as though in the short term the consequences may not be visible (just like the SERPENT assured Eve that “Ye shall not surely die” {Genesis 3:3} if she and Adam ate the forbidden fruit, only for them to EVENTUALLY DIE as a result of eating the fruit), and enjoyment and instant gratification assured, the long term effect may however be filled with regrets. Let’s ponder ‘pon these few words till the next installment of Bible Stories. Shalom!

‘kovich

REFERENCE:
– Genesis Chapter 25 Verses 29 – 34, THE WORD OF YAHWEH, © 2000

PICTURE CREDIT:
https://app.emaze.com/mobile/@AOLQIQIR

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