Written by: Tim Wood
Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears. (Hebrews 12:16-17 The Message)
The story of Esau is one of the saddest stories the Bible. In Genesis 25, we read that one-day Esau came home, famished from hunting, only to see that his brother, Jacob, had made a stew. Esau demanded that Jacob feed him. Jacob responded by offering a trade – Jacob would give Esau his stew, if Esau gave Jacob his birthright (note: a birthright was the right to inheritance and the spiritual leadership of the family). Here’s the crazy part, Esau gave Jacob what he asked. It seems so strange that Esau would sacrifice something so valuable for a bowl of soup, but he’s not the only one who has surrendered God’s blessing because of a craving for something less.
Our culture places high value on instant gratification. If you have an appetite for something satisfy it now. In doing so, we trade what is eternal for something that is temporary. We trade God’s blessing for a quick fix.
Let’s take seriously the admonition in 2 Corinthians 4:18 – “We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”