Picture a bowl of red stew. Doesn’t seem to be very valuable at all, right? Now change your scenario: you are starving in the wilderness. Suddenly, that same bowl of stew seems to be worth a million bucks! Danger is here now; so thinking of future survival seems irrelevant. Esau sold his whole birthright, including sheep, goats, land, and blessings as leader of God’s people, and oh yeah, the birth line of Christ, all for a bowl (I hope he got the whole pot) of red stew. Seems pretty stupid…we would never do that, right?
Unfortunately, that’s what we do all the time. Often when we feel any sort of discomfort, we sell our birthright, our precious inheritance, to Satan. And for what? For some hollow, momentary relief. Feelings of sadness, anxiety, fear, rejection, or loneliness…being disconnected, angry, or overwhelmed…not getting our way, our timeline, or our agenda…being out of control…enduring physical pain…they can all drive us to make knee-jerk decisions to sell out. We so easily take the momentary counterfeit instead of having faith in God’s promise to provide comfort and answers through His Holy Spirit and His Word. Remember that once we are Christians we never eternally lose our inheritance of salvation and the Holy Spirit, but we still will fight many battles here on Earth. Thankfully God is gracious and forgiving when we confess to our me-centered choices.
What’s your red stew? You know what I mean: that behavior, habit, state of mind, emotion, attitude, or relational style you turn to whenever you are under some adversity. Identify it, realize your stew is really self-destructive and not self-protective like you think. That is Satan’s greatest deception: that you can really protect and save yourself, and God’s answers are irrelevant to your present pain. God’s nourishment truly satisfies and He will infinitely provide as we thirst in this world. You just have to go to His restaurant for your stew, not Satan’s.
Dear Father God,
I confess, I have great intentions many times, but I get complacent and resort to Satan’s or my fleshly options when I am faced with adversity. Thank You for my adversity and help me see why You brought it into my life. Strengthen me to use Your lenses and ways to manage these circumstances. Show me what red stew I take and how it doesn’t nourish me, but instead keeps me from the real lasting nourishment You desire and provide for me. Help me see the manna You will always provide and how to receive it and let it really nourish me. Thank You for life, and life abundantly!
In the name of Jesus, the real bread and living water, – AMEN
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!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.)
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.
And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”