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! I’m famished!”
Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
“Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 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.
Esau’s birthright was infinitely more valuable than a bowl of stew. No matter how “famished” he was.
But in the moment, Esau couldn’t see past his hunger. He couldn’t look beyond his comfort, beyond what he wanted in that moment, and so he gave away the future he’d been promised.
He traded away his potential – his hope – because he couldn’t lock down his desires.
And forever after, the patriarchs of God’s people were listed as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. All because Esau gave up his place in the Kingdom.
If we’re not disciplined, desires overwhelm logic. And futures are ruined by unchecked and untamed desires.
Hunger destroyed Esau. But it just as easily could’ve been anger or revenge or jealousy or greed or lust or any number of things. When we want something badly enough and dwell on it long enough, we give Satan the power – and the opportunity – to use it to completely destroy us.
That’s exactly why Paul wrote, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.“ (Galatians 5:16-17)
What “bowls of stew” has Satan placed in your path and around your life? Every one of them is a trap that makes his goal of stealing your future that much easier. I’d suggest pouring those “bowls” out and walking away, forgetting they were ever there.