Genesis 25:29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore, his name was called Edom. 31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” 32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so, what is this birthright to me?” 33 Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So, he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus, Esau despised his birthright.
For a bowl of lentil stew, Esau sold his birthright. Wait, let’s just agree here and now that if you gonna despise something as important as a birthright then get something better than a lentil stew, okay? I mean, lentil stew? Whose son was this guy anyway? How I wished it was turkey like the one served on a Thanksgiving night, or some nicely done fish with a good broth you know? Or some Chinese cashew nut rice served with chicken cooked in a sumptuous gravy.
See, we live in a time where when people want something they want it and they want it there and then. I call it the instant generation. Instant coffee, instant shower, instant riches, instant everything. Even instant relationships. You meet a lady today and you want to marry her tomorrow, like what happened to taking time to know one another? What the heavens happened to working seven years for the love of your life? Well, it doesn’t have to be seven years but y’all get what I mean right?
Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is the ability to wait for someone or something without getting angry or upset. Patience leads to delayed gratification. This is resisting the temptation of immediate pleasure in the hope of obtaining a valuable and long-lasting reward in the long term. The fact is that Esau was famished, but the truth is he wouldn’t have died if he had waited a little longer to prepare his own food instead of selling his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew.
In this walk of life, in this journey of faith, I have come to understand something. God is never in a hurry to give His children material things. You see, He is the God who rejoices in the prosperity of His children but He is also a relational God. He is a God who invests in building lasting relationships, a God who wants us to fathom that He is enough for us all by Himself.
The day you choose to fast is the day all the lunch offers come your way. The moment you decide you want to lose weight is the moment McDonald's and KFC conspire to come up with unbeatable offers. Like Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, are we disciplined enough to deny ourselves of temporary pleasures for the sake of a greater good?
We don’t talk about the God of Esau but we talk about the God of Jacob; because by Esau selling his birthright, he sold everything that pertains to it including his position in the family as well as his legacy. See, God is looking for someone who is willing to be inconvenienced momentarily, even by hunger, but in the end, produce purpose and carry His glory. God is seeking for people who are willing to look at the bigger picture. People who are willing to delay their gratification, to delay their hunger and their desires in order to obtain a lasting reward.
Hold onto the values that you stand for in life, refuse to give in to the temptation of instant gratification that is only temporal. There’s a reason they are called temporary pleasures - they never last. But we want something permanent, don’t we? Hold your appetites, be patient with yourself, and yes, it is not easy, it will cost you but you have to learn to deny yourself, to discipline yourself because in the end you’ll proudly look back and you’ll be grateful that you waited.
Child of God; Delayed Gratification.