Birthright For Beans
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The Book of Genesis gives us many intriguing stories. One of those is the story of Jacob and Esau. Esau trades away his rightful inheritance to his father’s large estate to his younger brother Jacob in exchange for one bowl of red bean porridge. This action seems ridiculous. His father was a wealthy man. The soup could not have been that good. So how is this story relevant to us today? Because you and I do the same thing all the time. Find out how, I invite you to read more.
It’s a good feeling when we mine a new nugget of wisdom from a familiar Bible story. I hope you find today’s message to be one of those times.
Here is the story from Genesis 25:29-34. “Once, when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Let me gulp down some of that red stuff; I am famished.” But Jacob replied, “First sell me your right as firstborn.” “Look,” said Esau, “I am on the point of dying. What good is the right as firstborn to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first!” So, he sold Jacob his right as firstborn under oath. Jacob then gave him some bread and the lentil stew; and Esau ate, drank, got up, and went his way. So, Esau treated his right as firstborn with disdain.”
The story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Esau gives us something worthwhile to reflect on regarding the subject of repetitive sinfulness. Out of fear, Abram lied to the King of Egypt when he told him that Sarai, his wife, was his sister (Genesis 12:10-20). After his covenant with God, Abraham lied again when he told Abimelech the King of Gerar, that Sarah was his sister (Genesis 20:2). Sometime later, Abraham’s son Isaac settled in the land of Gerar. Once there, He told the same lie as his father, when he told Abimelech that Rebekah was his sister when in fact, she was his wife (Genesis 26:7).
Both father and son had lied and deceived. You could say that the apple had not fallen far from the tree. But it didn’t stop there, lying and deception continued into the next generation when Jacob deceived his father to secure his brother’s blessing. History had repeated itself again. Sometimes recurring sin continues from one generation to the next. Nearly every person must contend with it in their own life.
Even when we know our sins are offensive to God, when temptation strikes, we fall. Afterwards we exclaim, “I did it again.” In our weak human condition, in the blink of an eye, just like Esau, we trade away our birthright and blessings for a bowl of sin soup.
Does this sound familiar to you? If you struggle against some pattern of recurring sin, you are not alone. I do to. It seems to be the curse of humanity. We have an insatiable appetite for sin porridge. Most people can relate to the words of St. Paul in Romans 7:15 when he says, “What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate,” and in Romans 7:19 when he says, “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.”
Now, as foolish as Esau seemed to be when he sold his birthright for beans, it is even more foolish when we exchange our heavenly birthright and the blessing of eternity with God for the momentary pleasure of sin. Pretty dumb right? Yes, it is! Yet, we all do it. Sin truly is a form of spiritual insanity. We trade the most important thing in the world, our relationship with God, for some fleeting sinful action. So, what can we learn from this birthright for beans story?
We can learn that God never stopped loving Abraham, and He honored His covenant to him and to his descendants even though they routinely failed to keep up their side of the covenant. Of course, we know that eventually Jesus chose to become a member of Abraham’s family tree. We should find comfort in knowing that God is always faithful to His Word, even when we fall short!
These Old Testament stories can teach us a great deal about ourselves. We learn from our ancestor’s mistakes. We can identify patterns of brokenness in our own behavior and work to achieve a godlier outcome.
The next time we fall into the trap of recurring sin, we should repent, ask God for mercy, and then try saying to ourselves, “OH BEANS!” This little phrase could act as a constant reminder not to trade away our birthright in Heaven for the beans of this earth. It can also remind us that God is merciful, forgiving, true to His covenant and always ready to welcome us back into His grace.
Heavenly Father help me to curb my appetite for sin soup. Help me to avoid each occasion for sin. Lord, I cherish the birthright and blessings that Jesus assured me through His death and resurrection. Never let me trade them away, amen!
As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.
Part of my inspiration for today’s message came from a daily podcast I am listening to. The podcast is called, The Bible in a Year, by Father Mike Schmitz. If you would like to make your way through the entire Bible during 2021, it only takes 20 minutes per day. I encourage you to check it out.
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Iam 75 and have many bowls of “bean soup”. When I found His Divine Mercy The soup started drying up. You are an inspiration and I thank you. Hope you and your wife get better soon. In my prayers.
We have been following The Bible in a Year Podcast also. When I seen this title of this podcast ( I know I’m a little behind) I wondered if you were following also. Glad to see you are recovering from COVID. Prayers for your continued recovery.
Just want to wish you and Mary Beth the best and will keep you both in my prayers to get stronger and fully heal. Blessing to you and your family. ??
Mary Beth and I are both on the mend. We thank everyone for their prayers and acts of kindness. We must all keep praying for those who have been impacted by this pandemic.
Thanks, Brian, for your humorous take on this scripture. You always seem to bring us what we need to hear at a particular time, thanks be to God. Also thank you for mentioning Fr Schmitz “Bible in a Year”. It is so wonderful, isn’t it?
God bless you and Mary Beth and may His healing hand bring you back to complete health very soon.
Thank you for your kind words and prayers.
Oh beans! 🙂 Love it! Glad to hear you guys are getting better. I’ve been enjoying Father Mike’s podcast. Take care.
Again Holy Spirit inspired.
Praying for you & Mary Beth.
God bless ?
How are you and Mary Beth doing?
It seemed as if my wife and I were both slowly getting better. Then yesterday, my wife seemed to regress. Her doctor put her on a one month leave of absence from work in order to more fully recovery. My wife is still struggling with her breathing, she is coughing a great deal and she is totally fatigued. Please keep her in your prayers. I am doing a little better every day.
Thank you for asking and for your prayers!
Thank you for your inspiring thoughts. Why is it so easy it to fall into our sinful ways????
That question has been pondered for thousands of years. It seems that since the fall of Adam and Eve mankind has struggled with sin and temptation. We’ve never been able to save ourselves. Let’s thank God that he sent his son to save us from ourselves.