Jacob said, “First, swear to me.” And he did it. On oath Esau traded away his rights as the firstborn. Jacob gave him bread and the stew of lentils. He ate and drank, got up and left. That’s how Esau shrugged off his rights as the firstborn. (Genesis 25:33-34, The Message)
How many times has our impatience gotten the best of us? We want that new gadget so we buy it the moment it becomes available, when the price is high and the bugs haven’t been worked out. Or perhaps it’s not stopping all the way at the stop sign, only to see the red and blue lights flashing in your rear view mirror with a hefty price to pay. We are an instantaneous society – we want it now and we mean NOW. The beginning story of Esau and Jacob, tells us a lot about human nature. Even before there were microwaves, people wanted things immediately. Esau was so hungry from hunting, thinking he might die, that he gave up his birthright, one of his most important honors for some simple stew. Now I’m all about having food to eat, but giving up your birthright meant giving up the double portion of his inheritance and one day becoming his family’s leader. I am sure he could have plenty of stew made with his inheritance, but the pressure of the moment seized Esau and it overtook him. He gave it all up in an instant for the stew of lentils.
It reminds me a little bit of the girl from Willy Wonky and the Chocolate Factory – Veruca Salt when she sings her song, “I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It’s my bar of chocolate. Give it to me now.” We all know what happened to Veruca, she fell down a chute, because she was a “bad egg.” There are certain things that we all want now, certain things that we don’t want to wait for. But God’s way is always better than ours and sometimes we have to take the patient road and wait for His leading, guiding, or directing. Sometimes He wants us to take a little breather. We need to be reminded of the old saying, “let me sleep on it.” Esau let his hunger do the talking and he lost his future in an instant. Let’s make sure we don’t do the same thing.
Ever Patient Father, help us to be more like You when dealing with ourselves and with others. Help us to be quick in listening and patience, not always when using our words and actions. Sometimes the best thing we can do is just stop. Please direct our hearts to do Your will. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.