The Vulnerable Brother

The Vulnerable Brother

29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)

31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”

32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”

33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.

So Esau despised his birthright. Genesis 25:29-34

Birthright back then was much more significant than it is now. Jacob clearly understood that, but Esau was more concerned about feeding his belly.

To be fair, however, Jacob knew exactly what he was doing and took advantage of the situation. For instance, it wasn’t an accident that Jacob asked for what he asked for. His mother probably put him up to the task since she favored him.

A different point should be made that applies today. Esau was tired and hungry, which made him vulnerable. Jacob had the cooked food ready to eat but wouldn’t feed Esau until he agreed to Jacob’s demands.

Many times in unguarded moments we say or do things that we wouldn’t normally say or do.

As an example, when I am driving long distance with my wife, I like to press on until it gets dark because I like to drive in the light. However, there’s a point on that trip where I have not eaten supper, it’s getting darker, and I begin losing patience. I get irritable. I know that I should have stopped at least an hour or two ago, but my desire to “get there” outweighs my hunger. I know where that “breaking point” is. After that point, I am a mess and hard to get along with until I get food and a bit of rest. I am very vulnerable.

In what conditions are you the most vulnerable? How do you avoid them or press through?

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