“ Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew . . . .”  And Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”  . . . Esau said, “what good is the birth right to me?” . . . So he swore an oath to him , selling his birth right to Jacob.” . . .so Esau despised his birth right.” (Gen 25: 29-34 NIV).

I heard the story of a young Christian brother who was planning for his marriage.  He desired to have an elaborate wedding ceremony which required so much money.  He got the money, off course. How?  He stole over a million naira from his company and was caught. He was “famished” and sold his birthright.

Many years ago, a deacon in the headquarters of a church in which I pastored  a parish,  told me how some associate pastors in a leadiing church in Lagos demanded that the deacon include a certain amount to the quotations he submitted for the roofing of the new auditorium  they were building. That amount was to be given to them before work commences.  It’s either that or no contract.  He disobliged them.  Off course, he didn’t get the contract.  Those associate pastors were “famished,” ready to sell their birthright.

One Christian woman (married) said, there was a time she travelled out of the country on an official assignment, and on one occasion at her leisure in the hotel room at night, putting on the television, an X – rated movie was being shown.  She said to herself: she’s matured, spirit filled, and married, more so the only one in the room, so she can watch.  But the Spirit of Him that raised Jesus from the dead got a better part of her and she changed the channel.  Her flesh was “famished,” wanted her to sell her birthright.  Thank God she was on her guard.  She “watched” and then “prayed.”

From our text, we read that Esau was famished, because he could not cook or probably because there were no “fast food” joints then, thus he toyed with a lifetime God-given inheritance.  He gave his pearls to the swine. (Mt. 7: 6).

To be “famished,” simply means to suffer from extreme hunger.  Hungry to the extent that such a person can eat the husks that the swine eats.

 Satan, right from the time God made man in His own image, has been after man’s birthright.  In the garden of Eden, he bought man’s birthright, when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:1-7).  As a result of the fall man became a slave to sin and subject to eternal death.  Thanks be to God who by“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Gal. 3:13a), “and forgave us all trespasses.  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us,” (Col.2:13-14). 

Hence, Jesus Christ got the birthright back for all of humanity, being the Second Adam.  Yet only those who acknowledge Him as the only begotten Son of God and that He is the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 2:2; John 3:14-16; Acts 4:12), will have their birthright handed back to them.  

Despite this redemption realities and the knowledge that many people have their birthright given back to them by Jesus,  it is irksome and disturbing to see many Christians sell their birthright to the devil who is moving to and fro with his placard sign ”Birthright for sale?”  And for a morsel of meal they sell their birthright.

They became  “famished” for sex, fame, power, position, money , cars , houses , job , visa , cloths , wife or husband , contracts ,even food , among others. Such people mortgage their eternity.  Like Esau they just must have it at all cost now.  Their flesh tells them, “I am at the point of death,” “I can’t wait any longer.” “People do not have to know how you got it, just get it anyhow.”  Then they compromise their faith and are caught off guard.  Must you kill, steal, kidnap, commit sexual immorality, watch X – rated films and porno magazines, lie, and cheat among others to get what you want? Didn’t Jesus say, “All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  (Matt. 26:41 AMP.).

Jesus was actually saying: be on your guard, let your spiritual antenna be sensitive enough to discern, perceive and make you “. . . hate what is evil (loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness) . . . . (Rom. 12:9 AMP), don’t “fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness . . . .”  (Eph. 5:11).

Peter in like manner said, “ Be well balanced ( temperate sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times, for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring ( in fierce hunger ), seeking someone to seize and devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8 AMP).

Why sell your birthright for the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches?   For, “the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see and pride in possessions.” ( 1 John  2: 16 NLT).  All of these will fade away along with everything, for they are kept in store, reserved for fire.” (1 John 2:17; 2Pet. 3:7), that is, they will be burnt.

It must be noted that having the good things of life are not wrong.  Jesus Himself said,   “. . . for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”(Mt.6:32).  Paul the apostle said, “. . . for all things are yours.” (1Cor.3:21).  The Bible, also, records, “moreover the profit of the earth is for all; the king himself is served by the field,” (Eccl. 5:9), “Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits the God of our salvation.” (Psalms 68:19). 

Such promises abound.  The question is, must you have these things at the expense of your salvation?  Must you compromise your faith to have them? Seek His Kingdom first and His Righteousness, contend earnestly for the faith, walk uprightly and God will withhold nothing good from you.  Continue to obey and serve Him and throughout your lifetime, God’s prosperity and peace will be yours (Job 36:11).  Don’t sell your birthright.

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