Do not Trade Your Blessing | Genesis 25:19-34
Bible Passage: Genesis 29
Points Covered: A sermon on the birth of Jacob and his childhood. This sermon primarily covers the foolishness of Esau as to how he gave up his birthright and the blessings foolishly and how we God’s children lose our blessings.
Introduction: Today I want to speak on Jacob. As we trace his life, we will discover that he had as many defeats as victories. Jacob’s life is a struggle from the very beginning. He cheats and is cheated and loves and is betrayed. In short, here is a man whose life resembles most of us, so there is a lot we can learn from him.
1. Lessons from Jacob’s Childhood.
In Genesis 25, we find the birth of Jacob. We see that he was born to godly parents. Genesis 25:19-21 19This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah’s daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. 21Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
- Godly Parents
One thing that stands out about Jacob is that he had godly parents. The story of Jacob begins with a father’s desire for a child. Isaac and Rebekah had been married 19 years and had no children. Isaac was so disturbed by his desire for a child, that he earnestly sought the Lord in prayer. Perhaps Isaac recalled the story of his own parents, and their struggle with childlessness.
Let me tell you parents, the Bible says in Psalm 127:3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Children are God’s promise and you see Abraham and Sarah were without a child, by faith God gave them a child. Then now Isaac and Rebekah are without children, they pray and God give them children. I pray that God bless our families with children. I pray that God open every blockage in Jesus’ name. There is nothing too hard for the Lord. Amen!
It is also interesting to note that later during her pregnancy, Rebekah was concerned about her condition as well as the condition of her baby. There seemed to be an unusual amount of movement on the part of the baby. She had no doctor or diagnostics for scan, so she took the matter directly to the Lord. Genesis 25:22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So, she went to inquire of the Lord.
Like her husband, Isaac, Rebekah sought answers from the Lord. Dear Parents, prayer is the greatest tool we have as we raise a generation for Jesus Christ. All that God is, and all that God has, is at the disposal of prayer. What is it you are struggling with? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
- The omniscience of God.
Genesis 25:23 The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”
As Rebekah prayed to the Lord, she received more information than she ever imagined. The Lord is not only omnipotent (all powerful, able to do the impossible, able to make them pregnant after 20 years), the Lord is omniscient, He is all knowing, able to see into the future! This passage supremely demonstrates the foreknowledge of God.
The God of the Bible is omniscient, all knowing; omnipotent, all powerful; omnipresent, ever present; as well as immutable or unchanging; and this is the God we teach and preach. Listen, our God not only knows the future, He is already there! It makes sense to pray because God knows all things and God controls all things!
The Lord revealed to Rebekah that she was to have twins and who would become two nations.
Joke: A husband was worried because his wife was expecting the third time. His friend asked him, “Why are you worried, you have gone through this before.” The husband said, “When my wife first became pregnant, she was reading ‘A Tale of Two Cities,’ and we had twins. The next time she was reading ‘The Three Musketeers’ and we had triplets. This time she is reading ‘Birth of a Nation!’”
Rebecca gave birth to twins. Esau became the father of the Edomites. The decedents of Jacob were the Israelites.
Think about how powerful our God is! Isaiah 46:10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ God is in control. Even when the world around us seems out of control, we know that He is in control, that all things work together for good for those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose!
- We are uniquely made.
Genesis 25:24-25 24When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.
Genesis 27:11 Jacob said to Rebekah, “My brother is a hairy man, and I’m a man with smooth skin.
Here we have twins and yet they are so different. If you have 2 or 3 children, what you really have is 2 or 3 different people. One child will be into athletics, another into music, one does crafts. One will be outgoing; another will be shy. One will make friends easily; another will have trouble with relationships. Kids really are different and accept them as they are, never compare. Here we have twin boys, raised in the same environment, yet they grew up to be opposites.
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.
Psalm 119:74 Your hands made me and formed me.
Isaiah 64:8 We are all the work of your hand.
Every child is uniquely made. Accept the way your children are, accept the way you are.
- A divided home cannot stand.
Parental favoritism breaks families. Often it happens so subtly that the parents never realize they are favoring one child over the other. Sometimes it is just a glance in one direction, the trace of a smile, a casual pat on the head, or a frown or an angry look where one feels accepted and another gets rejected. Children know instinctively if they are loved and accepted, and they naturally move toward the parent who gives them the outward signs of love. Genesis 25:28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Here we are made to see the beginning of a divided home. Isaac favored Esau and Rebekah favored Jacob. In time, this home would burst wide open! Matthew 12:25 Every city or household divided against itself will not stand.
It is common to relate to one child over another, to enjoy one child over another, to have more in common with one child over another, but parents must love their children equally. We must learn to appreciate the uniqueness of each child, to love and relate to each child as an individual. Otherwise, we will sow the seed of favoritism and destruction in our own families.
Isaac had a special taste for wild game. That means the way to the dad’s heart was through his stomach. He was a man ruled by his physical appetites. The thing that brought father and son together was the son’s skillful ability to satisfy his father’s appetite.
On the other hand, Rebekah loved Jacob. And why not? He was always hanging around the tents while Esau was out hunting. What’s really happening here is one of the oldest principles in the world that opposites attract. Here we have the relatively quiet father (Isaac) teaming up with his athletic son (Esau) while the dominant mother (Rebekah) loves her quiet son (Jacob).
2. A Tale of Two Brothers. Genesis 25:29-34
Now with all the background of this family, soon the situation changes. Something happened between the siblings which seemed trivial, but had great consequences. Esau was the hunter, but the hunter becomes the hunted as the story develops.
- Uncontrolled Appetite.
Genesis 25:29-30 29Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” The word here means “to gulp.” Esau is here revealing the truth about himself. He cares for nothing when he is hungry but filling his stomach as fast as he can. It’s a picture of man’s basic nature. On the outside he looks good but he’s empty and shallow and totally controlled by his physical desires.
- Unbrotherly Offer – Birthright for Stew.
Genesis 25:31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” I think during all those years while Isaac was favoring Esau, Jacob was dreaming of a way to get the birthright for himself. This was a premeditated idea and when he got a chance, he utilized it.
To be fair, you have to give Jacob credit – at least the thing he desired was worth having, but the way he got it was at the very least unbrotherly. He took advantage of Esau’s weakness to get from him something he couldn’t have obtained any other way.
But, you say, did not God promise to bless the younger over the older? Yes, God had promised it, then Jacob didn’t need to trick Esau out of it. God doesn’t need that kind of help. He can find a way to give the birthright and the blessing to Jacob in his own time. So even though Jacob got what God wanted him to have, he did it in an unbrotherly fashion. For that he can hardly be praised.
- A Short-Sighted Decision.
Genesis 25:32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” Here’s a man whose sensual desires so control him that when he sees the stew, nothing else matters. He’s ready to trade the most important possession in his life for a bowl of stew.
- The Sacred Oath.
Genesis 25:33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Jacob, like any shrewd businessman, is closing the deal. He’s getting Esau’s signature on the dotted line before he delivers the goods.
All Esau could see was that bowl of soup. Nothing else mattered to him. So, he swore an oath, thus giving away his birthright.
- Unconcern of Losing Out.
Genesis 25:34 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. There is absolute unconcern of losing out. The point of the story is that Esau is so foolish that he goes off, not realizing what he has done. So, Esau lost his birthright. Esau treated with contempt his most important possession.
3. The Loser’s Character.
- Lives for the moment.
- Demands immediate gratification.
This is how a lot of people lose their blessings. Living on impulse, for the moment, and for immediate gratification. Example: Many people are like this in the area of Money. Many trade their blessings for sexual gratification. People trade their morality for a few moments of gratification. Impulse decisions, impulse talking we lose.
The world says to us, “Live for today and forget tomorrow.” They don’t see the consequence. God says, “Live wisely for a better tomorrow.” Ephesians 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise. If you live wisely now, it will prepare you for blessings tomorrow and through all eternity. But the world says, “You’re going to die anyway. Eat, drink and be merry. Go ahead, sell that birthright, for tomorrow you may die.” That’s exactly what Esau did.
4. What did Esau lose?
- Double inheritance. If we understand the biblical background, birthright was the most prized possession of the oldest son. He would be given an extra share of his father’s property.
- Promises of God. By giving up the birthright Esau gave up the promises of God gave to Abraham. He was right in line to receive all the promises given and he messed it up.
- Esau gave up his power. He gave up his authority as head of the whole family. You see, in his father’s absence, the first-born son had authority over his younger siblings.
Esau had it all! As the first-born, he had the inheritance, power, and the promises of God. He had everything he wanted, yet he traded it all away for a bowl of stew.
Now, coming back to us, God has given us every blessing Esau had through Abraham in Christ Jesus and most often we trade our blessings with the things of the world. For, you see, every believer in Christ has a birthright. Every believer in Christ has special privileges, because Jesus is the firstborn. Colossians 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Jesus passes on all those blessings to us.
Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
John 17:10 All I have is yours.
Don’t sell your birthright like Esau did. Don’t trade away your privileges for momentary pleasures.
4. Lesson’s from Esau’s Loss. Hebrews 12:14-17
Hebrews 12:16-17 16See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done. We have special privileges and blessings from God and don’t sell your birthright.
- Don’t sell your priesthood.
We are priests in Christ Jesus. 1 Peter 2:9 You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own possession.
Leviticus 21:6 Priests must be holy to their God.
Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. So, when we lose our holiness, we are trading God’s blessings for the trivial things of the world. We have been especially consecrated and given over to him. We have been set-apart from sin unto God. That’s our position in Christ. God looks on those of us who have trusted Christ as “holy ones,” as “those who have been set-apart for His special use” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 9Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
We are priests in Christ. Be holy and don’t trade it in for the momentary pleasures of this world.
- Don’t sell the promises of God.
Just like the firstborn in ancient society, we too have an inheritance. a blessing from God both in this world and in eternity. Don’t lose your blessings.
See the blessings of Abraham:
Genesis 22:27 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous……
Hebrews 6:14 I will surely bless you and give you may descendants.
We don’t deserve blessing, they are purely out of God’s grace and God delights in making promises to us, simply because He loves us. Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
God has given us a rich inheritance in His promises. There are thousands and thousands of them, and they cover every area of our lives; they take care of every need. So, when we fall out of grace, we are trading with the blessings that God has promised us. My dear friends, don’t sell your blessings for the trivial things of the world.
- Don’t sell your power as God’s child.
Hebrews 12:16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Don’t trade your spiritual authority for the short-lived pleasure of sin. We have power in the name of Jesus. We have authority in the name of Jesus but when we commit immorality, we lost our power in Jesus Christ. See the consequence. Hebrews 12:17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.
You see, we don’t have to worry about sin anymore, all we need to do is confess it and forsake it. The good news is Jesus has already released us from the power of sin in our lives through His death on the cross.
Conclusion: Don’t trade with your blessings. Don’t sell the promises of God, and don’t sell your power over sin. Instead, enjoy your inheritance rights as children of God, and live like the kings you are!