Soup spoons clink against bowls. Sandwich crusts and grapes litter plates. It's yesterday's lunch and we end up discussing this word, worth.
The Bible story book reading for the day is about Jacob and how he acquired Esau's birthright.
My oldest girl keeps asking me if she would be the one who would get a birthright.
We read about Jacob recognizing the value of His brother's birth right and doing something to attain it for Himself.
Genesis 25 describes the exchange of a invaluable birthright for a simple bowl of soup.
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. (Genesis 25: 29-34, NIV)Usually when I read the account of Jacob it is Jacob who gets my attention. Jacob and all of his deceiving followed by all the ways he ends up being deceived and taken advantage of himself.
But not today.
What jumps out at my children and I circled around the table is this:
Esau had the birthright, but was willing to give it away so easily for so little. He didn't know what it was really worth.
My girls don't understand it. Especially oldest girl who is still trying to figure out if we in America give out birthrights and how she will be the one to secure it and not her little brother.
My seven year old nodding in disbelief when Esau gives away His birthright because he's hungry for a bowl of soup. Soup like the soup we've just eaten. A whole inheritance for a bowl of soup.
I flip pages in my Bible and read this in Hebrews." 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."(Hebrews 12:16 NIV)
The girls and I discuss Esau and his quick decision to sell something so precious.
"How do we do this, girls?" I ask. "How do we trade something valuable for things that aren't valuable?"
Oldest girl answers immediately, "Time. We spend our time on things that don't really matter." She says simply, her green gray eyes looking wide into mine.
"You're right" I say. "We spend our time every day, don't we? We never get it back do we?"
We give our most precious commodity to things that don't actually matter.
My mind also thinks about all of the ways that I have traded my value for something that promised to meet my aching hunger, but left me empty and devalued.
Esau let Jacob take away his birthright so easily and then opened the doorway to be completely robbed of His blessing.
We need to be good at recognizing the valuable and holding onto it. Satan sees value and wants to take it from us.
The weight of this lesson falling on me heavy as I clean up the table and rinse out soup bowls.