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                       "THE BAD BARGAIN OF ESAU"

                            Genesis 25:29-34


1. One of the saddest figures in the Bible is that of Esau...
   a. Firstborn son of Isaac and Rebekah, twin brother of Jacob - cf.
      Gen 25:21-26
   b. Loved by his father Isaac, a skillful hunter - Gen 25:27-28

2. Esau was a man who had his good side...
   a. He show kindness to his brother who had deceived him - cf. Gen
   b. He helped bury his father Isaac - Gen 35:29

3. Yet on two occasions he was manipulated by his brother Jacob...
   a. The first when Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage 
      - Gen 25:29-34
   b. The second when Jacob stole the blessing designed for Esau - Gen

[In this study, we shall focus our attention on the first occasion, and
lessons we might glean from this unfortunate circumstance in Esau's


      1. The physical advantages of the birthright
         a. Contained a double portion of the father's inheritance - Deu
            1) The amount would have been very great
            2) For what he eventually received was also great - cf. Gen
         b. Offered rule and authority over other members of the family
            - cf. Gen 27:29
      2. The spiritual advantages of this particular birthright
         a. Patriarch and priest of the house on the death of his father
            (Barnes, Clarke)
         b. Chief of the chosen family, and heir of the promised
            blessing (Barnes)
         c. Able to invoke the blessing of Abraham, regarding the
            threefold promise - cf. Gen 28:4; 12:1-3
      -- Such were the issues at stake when Jacob and Esau bartered over
         the birthright

      1. Esau chose the sensual over the spiritual
         a. He gave into the cravings of his hunger - Gen 25:29-34
         b. He valued the red pottage more highly than his birthright
         c. For this reason he was called "a profane person" - He 12:16
      2. Esau chose the present over the future
         a. He tossed away future rewards for present gratification
         b. The pottage may have assuaged his hunger for the day, but
            what of the morrow?
         c. This too made him a "profane" person
      -- For temporary, physical pleasures Esau sold his birthright;
         what a bad bargain!

[Certainly we would not think of making the same kind of bargain, would
we?  Perhaps not with an inheritance we might receive from our parents;
but what of our spiritual inheritance...?]


      1. We are heirs according to the promise made to Abraham - Ga 3:29
      2. We are joint-heirs with Christ - Ro 8:16-17
         a. We are heirs according to the hope of eternal life - Ti 3:7
         b. We are heirs of the kingdom which He has promised - Ja 2:5;
            cf. 2 Pe 1:11
      3. In Him, all things are ours - 1 Co 3:21-23; cf. Re 21:7
      4. Our inheritance is incorruptible, undefiled, that does not fade
         away, reserved in heaven - 1 Pe 1:4
      -- What a wonderful birthright, and not just limited to things in
         the hereafter! - cf. Mk 10:28-30

      1. How might we sell our birthright?
         a. Succumbing to the passing pleasures of sin - cf. He 11:24-26
         b. Lusting for things of the world - cf. 1 Jn 2:15; Ja 4:4
         c. Walking after the flesh rather than after the Spirit - cf.
            Ga 5:16-26
      2. How might we hold on to our birthright?
         a. Pursue peace and holiness - cf. He 12:14
         b. Be careful not to fall short of God's grace - cf. He 12:15
         c. Exercise discipline and godliness - cf. 1 Co 9:24-27; 1 Ti


1. Esau made the mistake of...
   a. Depreciating the value of his inheritance
   b. Succumbing to the desires of the flesh

2. We can make a similar mistake...
   a. Not appreciating the value of our inheritance in Christ!
   b. Giving in to the allure of immediate gratification of the flesh!

If we are not careful, the time will come when it is too late; no matter
how many tears we may shed, it will be too late to change God's mind
(cf. He 12:17).  That is why we need to heed such warnings as that one
given by the apostle Paul:

   "We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not
   to receive the grace of God in vain.  For He says: "In an 
   acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation
   I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, 
   now is the day of salvation."
                                                      - 2 Co 6:1-2

Are you in danger of selling your birthright as a Christian?
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