Jacob cooked some stew, and when Esau came in from the open fields, he was famished. So Esau said to Jacob, “Feed me some of the red stuff—yes, this red stuff—because I’m starving!” …
But Jacob replied, “Firstsell me your birthright.”
“Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die! What use is the birthright to me?”
But Jacob said, “Swear an oath to me now.” So Esauswore an oath to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew; Esau ate and drank, then got up and went out. So Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25:29–34)
In this passage of Scripture, we see a man foolishly give up his birthright; he exchanges all the benefits and the favor of his father for a pot of stew just because he is hungry at the moment. His temporary hunger causes him to mistakenly give up a permanent blessing for something transient. How foolish! Esau did not take time to think of the devastating consequences of his careless action.
We live in an age of instant gratification. We want what we want right now. So many people think only of meeting their needs and wants for the day or for the near future. Little or no thought is given to an eternal perspective.
As we study God’s Word, we discover that what we do now will echo into eternity. By deciding to trust in Jesus Christ to be our personal Lord and Savior, we determine where we will spend eternity. What we do with all of the wonderful provisions of our salvation in the remaining time we have in this world determines how we will live in eternity. In other words, the living out of our salvation here on earth will have a direct impact on our quality of life in the new eternal paradigm.
The question for each one of us is: To what extent are we willing to delay temporary gratification for the eternal rewards God has for those willing to invest time, talent, and treasure to further the Great Commission?
How many Christians are making the same mistake Esau made, exchanging possible eternal rewards for the passing pleasures of this world, the equivalent of a pot of stew? This makes no sense at all!
Jesus Christ himself says our deeds count for eternity: “Look! I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to pay each one according to what he has done!” (Revelation 22:12).
These words have had a major impact on my thinking, behavior, and investment of time, talent, and treasure. We need to consider seriously what we have to invest in God’s kingdom, and act accordingly.
Today, ask yourself:
Are most of my decisions with instant gratification in mind or a view toward eternity?