Avoid the Terrible Trade

Lysa TerKeurst

Day: 25 | Plan: Genesis

Today's Reading: Genesis 25

Genesis 25:34 (NIV) “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.”

The terrible trade is one we’ve all made. But I have good news today. Unlike Esau in Genesis 25, you have a second chance today to make a better choice.

What will you choose?

A short-term fix or a long-term legacy?

A bowl of beans worth pennies or a birthright that is priceless?

If you aren’t familiar with the story of Jacob and Esau that last choice seems a bit odd. So, let me back up. Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. One day Esau was out hunting while Jacob was at home cooking some bean stew. Esau came in famished and immediately wanted some stew.

Jacob offers his brother a bowl of his bean stew in exchange for his birthright. As the older twin, the birthright was not only worth a lot of money but it also represented a priceless place of honor.

In a shocking moment, Esau makes the terrible trade.

Why in the world did he do this? We could process this story for days and come up with several answers. Jacob was tricky and was the wrong person for Esau to talk to in a moment of utter desperation. Esau was careless with something incredibly priceless. Esau let himself get to a place of utter desperation without having a plan for provision.

Yes, there are many things that we could examine about Esau but I think a smarter takeaway might come from us examining ourselves.

We’ve all got a bowl of beans coming our way today:

  • Scrolling through social media rather than digging into God’s Word.
  • Finding time to pose for selfies but not to kneel in prayer.
  • Setting a timer to ensure we don’t miss a TV show but not an alarm clock to get us up for Sunday morning church.
  • Finding whitespace for video games and Facebook but not face-to-face conversations with real people.
  • Giving up God’s design for intimacy for cheap pleasures the world promotes.

And we never know how much these bowls of beans are really costing us.

Oh dear friend, hear my heart of compassion and not condemnation. I am right there with you having made bad trades too.

But let’s now be aware of what a snare today’s compromises really are.

Let me be the friend who doesn’t appear in Esau’s story. Let me intervene before a bowl of beans comes your way today and say, “Don’t give up what you want long term for what feels good short term. Avoid the terrible trade.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the wisdom to recognize the terrible trades in my life and the courage to say no to them. Unlike Esau, I ask You to help me be a person who doesn’t trade short-term gain for long-term good.In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Before Jacob and Esau were born, Scripture gives us an indication that their lives would not be... Read More

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