1. One of the saddest figures in the Bible is that of Esau
a. Firstborn son of Isaac and Rebekah, twin brother of Jacob - Genesis 25:21-26
b. Loved by his father Isaac, a skillful hunter - Genesis 25:27-28
2. Esau was a man who had his good side
a. He show kindness to his brother who had deceived him - Genesis 33:1-16
b. He helped bury his father Isaac - Genesis 35:29
3. Yet on two occasions he was manipulated by his brother Jacob
a. The first when Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage - Genesis 25:29-34
b. The second when Jacob stole the blessing designed for Esau - Genesis 27:1-41
A. ESAU'S BIRTHRIGHT
1. The physical advantages of the birthright
a. Contained a double portion of the father's inheritance - Deuteronomy 21:17
1) The amount would have been very great
2) For what he eventually received was also great - cf. Genesis 36:6-7
b. Offered rule and authority over other members of the family - Genesis 27:29
2. The spiritual advantages of this particular birthright
a. Patriarch and priest of the house on the death of his father
b. Chief of the chosen family, and heir of the promised blessing
-- Such were the issues at stake when Jacob and Esau bartered over the birthright
B. ESAU'S BAD BARGAIN
1. Esau chose the sensual over the spiritual
a. He gave into the cravings of his hunger - Genesis 25:29-34
b. He valued the red pottage more highly than his birthright
c. For this reason he was called "a profane person" - Hebrews 12:16
2. Esau chose the present over the future
a. He tossed away future rewards for present gratification
b. The pottage may have assuaged his hunger for the day, but what of the morrow?
c. This too made him a "profane" person
-- For temporary, physical pleasures Esau sold his birthright; what a bad bargain!
[Certainly we would not think of making the same kind of bargain, would we? Perhaps not with an inheritance we might receive from our parents; but what of our spiritual inheritance...?]
A. OUR BIRTHRIGHT AS CHRISTIANS
1. We are heirs according to the promise made to Abraham - Galatians 3:29
2. We are joint-heirs with Christ - Romans 8:16-17
a. We are heirs according to the hope of eternal life - Titus 3:7
4. Our inheritance is incorruptible, undefiled, that does not fade away, reserved in heaven - 1 Peter 1:4
-- What a wonderful birthright, and not just limited to things in the hereafter! - Mark 10:28-30
B. ARE WE MAKING A BAD BARGAIN...?
1. How might we sell our birthright?
a. Succumbing to the passing pleasures of sin - cf. Hebrews 11:24-26
c. Walking after the flesh rather than after the Spirit - Galatians 5:16-26
2. How might we hold on to our birthright?
a. Pursue peace and holiness - cf. Hebrews 12:14
b. Be careful not to fall short of God's grace - cf. Hebrews 12:15
1. Esau made the mistake of:
a. Not valuing of his inheritance
b. Succumbing to the desires of the flesh
2. We can make a similar mistake...
a. Not appreciating the value of our inheritance in Christ!
b. Giving in to the allure of immediate gratification of the flesh!
That is why we need to heed such warnings as that one given by the apostle Paul: "We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." - 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
-- Don Treadway, July 2008 --