This section of the Torah recounts the well-known story about how Esau sold his birthright. The first part of the parashah also shows us how much “like father, like son” is Yitzchak (Isaac). When a famine comes and Yitzchak takes his family to the land of the P’lishtim (Philistines) he said Rivkah was his sister, hiding her true relationship for fear of his life. He also became very wealthy from the Lord giving him success in everything he did, which caused the surrounding people to fear him and reject him. Just as it happened to Abraham.
There is unquestionably a Drash from this, dealing with the Jews being a hated people, and not just for the spiritual battles fought over them. God has blessed us, and through us the entire world, but that blessing is a two-edged sword in that some people see the Jews as special and become jealous of their successes. Instead of following their example and worshiping God as He wants, they take the opposite action and persecute them. If only those that hate the Jewish people understood that they are “killing the goose that lays the golden egg” because God said He would bless those that bless the Jewish people, and curse those that cursed them. In trying to “get back” at the Jews, those that hate them have only cursed themselves.
That’s not what today is about, though. I want to talk about what I see in the birthright selling story as a picture of what could happen to those who have been saved and think that their salvation is totally “in the bag.”
Reality check, Folks: it isn’t! Irrevocable gift of Grace means it won’t be revoked, i.e., taken back. However, we can lose it, we can throw it away, and we can just never use it, which will have the same effect as throwing it away. Read the chapter in my book called, “Use it or Lose it” to get a more in-depth discussion of this.
Esau had the blessings of the firstborn guaranteed as his from his very birth. Nothing could change the fact that he was first out. However, because of the temptations of the world he gave it up. I can somewhat understand how he felt that day. Next time you are really, really hungry, go into a supermarket and stand where they do all the cooking. Take a long, deep breath and smell the bakery items and the warm cooked items, then try , just try, to go buy a single apple or bag of carrots. Of course, understanding is not condoning. He gave away the most valuable asset he had, one that was his by rights and irrevocable. But, he did give it away. He sold it for a bowl of soup.
What might we sell our “birthright” (salvation) for? Riches? A trophy mate? A new car? A better job? These are all real temptations in the world we live in, and the Enemy knows what humans like. He can get under our skin, he can smell like fresh baked bread to a hungry person, and he can not just promise, but deliver. His power on Earth is very strong and very, very real. And it is also very hard to see. He is a sneaky little bugger, and he will have you selling your salvation before you even know what is happening.
If you are saying, “Oh, no- not me, Steve. I am too smart for that.” then you are lying to yourself. I am scared to death of being fooled, that is why I believe it will be harder for the Enemy to fool me. Not impossible, but harder. I am holding on to my salvation with both hands.
Those who have been taught, or just stubbornly want to believe, that their salvation is an irrevocable gift from God that no one can take away, they are right. It will not be taken back and it cannot be taken away; it can, however, be given away. They don’t want to hear that part, they just want to ask God for forgiveness, say “I am saved by the blood of Messiah” and go on with their lives as before. Happily thinking they are “in” and nothing can change that. Blind fools!
Esau had it made in the shade, but he gave away that which was guaranteed to him. The things of the world, his own selfishness and weakness of spirit caused him to lose that which could not be lost.
We are all in the same boat. Understand , please, this is a real life fact: salvation is something we can give away . We can spend eternity in Sheol for something as insignificant as a bowl of soup, so hold on to your salvation. The Enemy wants it, and he will do whatever he can (which is a lot, believe-you-me!) to get it from you.
Hold on to it with both hands, and never let go. Be aware, keep alert, stay saved.