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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

A Bad Trade

Today’s Verse:

And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? ~Genesis 25:32


As I write this devotion, the NBA is in the midst of players declaring their free agency status and teams making trades in order to clear up room in their salary cap. Teams will be making trades in order to strengthen their position and make them championship contenders. Every team strives to make a trade that is profitable and not one that they will regret. This morning, we see a man who made a bad trade that would affect him and his future descendants.

We see his behavior.

In Hebrews 12:16, Esau is described as a profane person. This is a way of saying that he lived a life where God was not the priority of his life. Genesis 25:27 tells us, “Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field.” While this speaks of his occupational choice, it also tells us that he lived for his fleshly desires and was worldly in his pursuits. Bad decisions are an outflow of bad behavior. Esau did not desire spiritual things. God was not foremost in his thoughts. He wanted to play when he needed to pray. He wanted to work when he should have worshipped. He placed his emphasis on being a hunter instead of being holy. His behavior was worldly and far from God.

We see his barter.

“And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.” Esau came back after an exhausting day in the field. He requested a bowl of his brother’s lentil soup. Jacob knew Esau’s weakness. He used Esau’s hunger to barter Esau’s birthright for a bowl of soup. Now, the birthright meant the double blessing of the father on the eldest son. However, Esau had a spiteful view of his birthright. In his famished state, he traded the long term for the short term. He bargained his future for the here and now. He did not care to be blessed. He did not care about the cost of losing the birthright. “What profit shall this birthright do to me?” Esau made a bad trade! Be careful that you do not trade Heaven for Hell! Be careful that you do not trade the blessings of God for emptiness. Be careful of being spiteful of living for Jesus and caring more for this world.

We see his bitterness.

Later, Esau realized that he could not receive his father’s blessing as the eldest son. Esau cried with a bitter cry, but it was too late. He sought it out with tears, but not with repentance. He was a very prideful man. He wanted things his way, and not God’s way. While Jacob had manipulated him for the birthright, it was Esau’s choice to trade the birthright for a bowl of lentil soup. It was too late for his father to give him the blessing of the birthright. Esau got less than the best. He became bitter with Jacob, lived in anger and wrath, and hated his brother to where he wanted to kill him. He regretted that he had made a bad trade, but blamed his brother instead of accepting responsibility for his bad trade.

We see his barrenness.

Esau did not repent of his sin. We read that “when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected.” Yes, he still got a partial blessing; yes, he was blessed with descendants. However, his life and future heirs bore no lasting fruit. His descendants became the enemies of Israel, who were later absorbed into the nations around them. His future was barren. He could never attain God’s abounding blessings because of his unrepentance and rejection.

Be careful of making a bad trade. Don’t trade Jesus for the world. Don’t trade the church for your career. Don’t trade rewards in Heaven for rewards on earth.

Have a wise God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Psalm 103-105

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