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A Bowl Of Soup

In the book of Genesis 25 we are introduced to the story of Jacob and Esau. Their father Isaac was married to Rebekah and after 20 years of marriage, the Lord opened her womb and she bore twins - Esau and Jacob. Esau was older and the Bible says, "The first to come out was red and his whole body was like a hairy garment" 25:25. The man was HAIRY and I bet you he had a beard too. Genesis 25:27 says, "The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay home among the tents." A prophecy had been spoken over these twins that went a little like this;

"Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated: one people will be stronger than the other and the older will serve the younger." - Gen 25:23

We see this prophecy coming to pass later in the story over a bowl of soup. Now I know what you are wondering: how can a bowl of soup turn over the fate of an entire nation? Personally, I think the Swahili proverb "haribu jina jenga mwili" originated from this bible story. The translation does it no justice so we will not translate it. Remember Esau was a man of the open country, a skillful hunter, right? Well, his brother Jacob was "content to stay at home among the tents." Is it not interesting how two people can simultaneously share a womb yet have such different personalities? I have twin sisters. One is like Esau she loves to be outside for she will gladly entertain the masses and explore what lies out in the world. The other is much like Jacob; she prefers a calm way about life. You will find her at home content with what is familiar. One day I asked them a question. 'Would you rather have love or money?' The older one of the two (my very own Esau) said she would rather have love because life would be lonely without it. The younger one after much contemplation said, 'I would rather have money, once I do I will buy a big house and move mom and dad in with me and they can give me all the love I need.' Such different perspectives on life yet both remained convicted their choices would best serve them individually. Well one day, Esau came home famished from hunting game. It says "Once when Jacon was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country famished. He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew I am famished!" Genesis 25:29-30. I once worked at a flea market, one of the lessons that I learned was, in order to sell something, you need a good vantage point. Bargaining requires a special skill and Jacob had a great vantage point. The brother was famished, and he had something he wanted therefore he could bargain since he had the upper hand. Jacob replies to Esau and says "First let me have your birthright," 25:31. A birthright is a particular possession, a privilege given to the first child. In the bible, a birthright had both spiritual and material dynamics. The one who had the birthright would inherit a double portion of the father's inheritance and he also became the spiritual head of the family after the father passed away. In this case, Esau had the birthright and what that meant for him was - he would inherit the blessing of Abraham. This blessing was a covenant for land, a nation, and the Messiah. It was of high value. In modern terms Esau was a high value man...I truly hope you got my joke. Being that the birthright was that important, the assumption would be, he would guard it well at all costs. Jacob surely knew its value hence why he bargained for it. Well, Gen 25:32 says " And Esau said, behold I am about to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?" He has the key to a double portion of blessings and this was his response. But let us put ourselves in his situation. Ever been that hungry? There is a story in the bible of lepers who were so hungry that they willingly walked into an enemy camp risking death because it is better to die on a full stomach than to starve to death. Maybe he was that hungry....he said he was famished right? Famished by definition means "extremely hungry." It can also mean ravenous. So obviously, his hunger put him in a precarious situation and surely, of what use is a promise when he may not live to see it fulfilled...right? No, wrong. In life, we experience moments that feel like they are life or death. We have to make important decisions with little to no time on our side. It is very interesting that most of these moments, in hindsight, are never as serious as we initially make them to be. In the book of Hebrews 12:14 it says "and [see to it] that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal" I could not understand why Paul referred to Esau as godless and immoral the man was just famished. The KJV reads 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." The Holy Spirit helped me understand that this verse is addressing appetites. Esau's appetite was one of the stomach and the appetite that Paul is addressing is a sexual one or one of lust. Thank God for the explanation because I felt like my man Paul was overreaching a bit. Can you imagine the shock that overtook me when this realization came to mind? It makes sense though. When it comes to sexual satisfaction or sensuality in general, many of us are willing to throw away our inheritance as children of God. I am guilty and I know some of you are too. The gratification that comes from satisfying our flesh is a constant battle. Why is it a battle? Because it feels good. Like Esau, many of us are quick to disregard the covenantal promise of salvation for the sake of our appetites. I want to warn you against it though. This simple disregard for the covenant promise is one of dire consequences. Hebrews 12:17 says "For you know that later on, when he wanted [to regain title to] his inheritance of the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no opportunity for repentance [there was no way to repair what he had done, no chance to recall the choice he had made], even though he sought for it with [bitter] tears." There is no guarantee that the opportunity to remedy such choices will be ours to behold. A bowl of soup, a climatic sex session or whatever vice you occasionally indulge in is no match for the double portion blessing that lies in waiting for you as a child of God. God in his mercy has allowed you and I the chance at repentance for trampling over his promise to us. If you are reading this blog post today it means that he has extended mercy unto you to make it right. I know soup tastes good! It is warm and filling but hear me out, it is not eternal. The bowl of soup will eventually run out, the pleasurable experience will also time out, but the covenantal promise of salvation is eternal. Therefore, consider yourself to be fasting the next time the temptation to indulge suffices.



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