1. One of the saddest figures in the Bible is of a man named Esau
a. He was the firstborn son of Isaac and Rebekah and the twin brother of Jacob. (Gen 25:21)
b. He was loved by his father and was a skillful hunter. It was because of Esau skill as a hunter and Isaac love for wild game caused him to love the eldest son more.
2. Esau was a man that had his good side (good before the bad)
a. He had showed kindness to his brother Jacob, who had deceived him. (Gen 33:1-16)
b. He helped bury his father Isaac (Gen 35:29)
3. Yet on two occasions he was manipulated by his brother Jacob…
a. The first came when he sold his birthright for a bowl of stew
b. The second came when stole the blessing designed for Esau
4. This morning I want to touch on the first incident and see if we can glean any insight and application for our lives
Genesis 25:29-34 (NIV)
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
1. Esau’s BIRTHRIGHT
a. Physical advantage to the BIRTHRIGHT
The Birthright was a double portion of the family inheritance.
i. The amount would have been very large.
ii. We know that what he eventually received was great according to Genesis 36:6-7 that records that the family, livestock, and property of both brothers was so great that the land could not support them both.
b. Spiritual advantage to the BIRTHRIGHT
i. Esau would have become the Patriarch and Priest of the home after his father’s death.
ii. He would have been chief of the chosen family and heir to the promise of blessing
iii. Able to invoke the blessing of Abraham, regarding the threefold promise (Gen 28:4; 12:1-3)
1. Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV)
1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
2. That blessing however was given to Jacob as we read in Genesis 28:3-4
Genesis 28:3-4 (NIV)
3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham.”
c. The Birthright was not just a trivial momento passed down from generation to generation, but had significant physical and spiritual blessing that were connected to it.