Devotional

“Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!”  Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?”Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.” – Genesis 25:29-34. 

The Bible is full of interesting stories like the one in Genesis 25. It is hard to believe that Esau sold his birthright, something very valuable in Biblical times, for a bowl of soup. Not exactly a smart move then or now. Esau found himself in the position of thinking more about his immediate needs then about the bigger picture of his future. Before we judge too harshly it is well to remember that when the world seems to be falling down all around us, do we put our immediate problems and needs aside to focus primarily on the future?

We may not trade a bowl of soup for our future, but most people are guilty at one time or another of worrying about present needs rather than future circumstances. Have you pursued wealth and a career at the expense of family? Maybe your busy schedule has kept you from spending time with God in His Word each day. Some people have traded the well-being of their family for the satisfaction of meeting their needs today. Others sacrifice their health by consuming harmful or addictive substances, or even by overindulging in food. The list of ways we make ill-advised and shortsighted choices is too long to completely list here.

Some of the decisions we make today could rob us of the blessings God wants to give us. When you yield to temptation in a moment of weakness, you’re actually sacrificing your future for momentary pleasure. We can’t afford to live thoughtlessly, basing our decisions on immediate desires or feelings. Since the principle of sowing and reaping cannot be reversed, we need to carefully consider what we are planting. The harvest will come, and we’ll reap what we have sown. We will reap what we sow in health, in relationships, in finances, etc.

The question we need to ask ourselves is this: Are we risking our future in the desires for the present? Does our inability to make sacrifices today end up with us in the soup tomorrow? A wise person evaluates choices by looking ahead to see what negative consequences could follow the decision I am making today. Will my lack of sacrifice today trade immediate gains for something far more valuable in the future?  Don’t let “a bowl of soup” hinder the future God has for you.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your bowl of soup? Have you experienced decisions today impacting your future? What was the outcome?
  2. What can we do to be more prudent in the decisions we make today?
  3. What can we do this week to be more sensitive to making sacrifices for others?