A battle within

Once when Jacob was boiling stew, Esau came in from the field hungry and said to Jacob, “I’m starving! Let me devour some of this red stuff.” That’s why his name is Edom. Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright today.” Esau said, “Since I’m going to die anyway, what good is my birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Give me your word today.” And he did. He sold his birthright to Jacob. So Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew. He ate, drank, got up, and left, showing just how little he thought of his birthright. ~Gen. 25:29-34 (CEB)

I always get so mad at Esau when I read this story. How can he be so careless? With no thought for the future he tosses away his birthright for a momentary need. Just because he is hungry. Then I think about my birthright. By simply being born, I too have been given a birthright. Just like Esau I have done nothing to earn my inheritance as a child of God. How often do I turn a blind eye when the hunger pains of this world threaten to tear me in half? How often do I undervalue my inheritance?

Even though Jacob is devious and manipulative, he does desire and see the value of the birthright. He will do whatever it takes to acquire it for his own. He even in the end risks his very life to receive his father’s blessing. I often wonder if this isn’t a fit description of the battle that goes on inside of us. There is the part of us that doesn’t value the grace that we have been given. It is not until we believe that we do not have God’s grace that we begin to do all we must to acquire that grace. Somehow it is a balance in the tension between the two. It is ours simply by being born, but we must seek it as the precious inheritance that it is. We must be willing to give it our all.

Lord, I want all that You have given me. Help me to value Your grace so freely given. May I seek it this day as the precious gift that it is. For without it I am nothing. Amen.

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