The writer of Hebrews very plainly describes Esau, the twin brother of Jacob. “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” (Hebrews 12:16 KJV) Other translations use the words irreligious and godless. When we return to the book of beginnings and read the story of Esau, we may not always think of Esau in these terrible terms, yet consider what took place. In Genesis 25:29-34, Moses records for us the day Esau returned from the field and was very tired. Because of his physical condition, he asked Jacob for some stew. Jacob replied to Esau, “Sell me this day thy birthright.” (Genesis 25:31) Esau seemed to think he was near the point of death and without any regard to the consequence of his actions, sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.
Herein lies the real problem in the trade of the century. Remember the inspired writer calls Esau a profane, godless, irreligious person because of this monumental event. Later Moses writes, “Esau despised his birthright.” (Genesis 25:34) Is it difficult for us to see the carnal nature of Esau? Do we see his desire for the physical over the spiritual?
Perhaps a better question would be: Is it difficult to see the carnal nature working in our lives?The New Testament reveals the truth of the carnal nature of mankind. It even speaks of it in a sense that should not be ignored. We are fleshly people and therefore are in need of fleshly or carnal meat. We must feed ourselves to sustain physical life. Our society goes to great lengths to ensure this need is fulfilled. There are convenience stores on every corner open 24 hours a day.McDonalds, Kroger’s and other chains are found stacked together like dominoes on every inch of real estate along our streets and highways. Yet Jesus, while being tempted of the Devil says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) Bible students realize the need for a steady spiritual diet of the word of God.
Consider activities that are planned for this afternoon and evening. Countless numbers of people have planned and will participate in large gatherings to fulfill a carnal need that exists because of God’s design, but where is the priority? Snack food and beverage vendors have loaded grocery selves in stores across America preparing for tonight’s activities. Delivery personnel and catering companies will maintain a steady flow of product for those who wish to feed their carnal appetites. Please do not misunderstand, we are all in need of meat and drink and should fulfill such a need. However this should never supersede our hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Jesus makes this point obvious during his sermon on the mount when He states, “What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:21-33 KJV)
Remember profane Esau who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. Do not trade the nourishment of the milk and meat of the word of God and fellowship with his children for one morsel of meat.