The Esau in the Bible story in Genesis 25:29-34 is another great warning about how not to respond to eating temptations.
After I wrote ‘What Eve Believed’, others who made wrong choices about food in the Bible intrigued me.
Why did they make the wrong choice?
You can learn from their situations to make the right choices and achieve better weight loss results.
Esau’s food problem happened when his twin brother, Jacob, caught him in a vulnerable moment.
But he wouldn’t have made the wrong choice if he valued his blessing from the beginning.
Esau in the Bible Story: His Vulnerable Moment
Here is Esau’s story in the Bible:
Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.
But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”
And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”
Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.”
So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright (NKJV).”
Let’s examine Esau’s descent:
- He was tired and hungry.
- He minimized his future blessing.
- He magnified his current condition.
- He decided that satisfying his flesh now was more important than receiving a natural and Spiritual benefit later.
A common saying is that you shouldn’t make important decisions when you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. In Esau’s case, he was both tired and hungry!
So Jacob saw an opportunity to get Esau’s birthright for cheap!
Esau in the Bible Story: Selling His Birthright
What was Esau’s birthright? In the Israelite law (written later in the scriptures), the firstborn son’s birthright was to receive a double portion of what His father had.
Even though they were twins, Esau was the firstborn. Issac had received Abraham’s blessing, and Esau was next in line to receive from Issac.
The Lord’s blessings upon Abraham were to:
- Make him a great nation
- Make his name great
- Make him a blessing
- Bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him
- Bless all the families of the Earth through him
So Jacob asked Esau to trade all those blessings for a temporary bowl of stew!
Let’s compare the birthright’s benefits above versus food:
- Food is tasty to your tongue.
- Food fills your stomach, taking away hunger feelings.
- Food travels through your digestive system, extracting any nutrients for the body’s use.
- The waste matter left over from food is eliminated from the body as feces.
Esau probably never took the time to think about his birthright and its benefits. He probably never saw himself taking possession of it.
He likely never considered what possessing the birthright would ultimately mean for his family’s future.
Instead, Esau played a mental trick on himself because he was only thinking about satisfying his flesh at the moment.
Esau in the Bible Story: Esau’s Alternatives
Esau minimized the importance of the birthright by saying that the birthright did not matter because he was going to die.
That was the sobering belief!
Now, was Esau going to die if he did not eat that bowl of stew?
Esau was strong and healthy enough to have worked in the field moments before!
So he couldn’t have been about to die, could he?
Instead of taking Jacob’s bad trade, Esau could have:
- Eaten a piece of fruit or a vegetable to get some quick nourishment
- Prepared stew for himself
- Ask someone else to prepare him something to eat
He had alternatives. Since other people lived with them, including their mother and father, none of them would have let him starve to death.
So Esau told himself a lie because he valued pleasures he could get now (the stew) above pleasures he could receive later (the birthright).
If he had valued his blessing, Esau would not have given it away so quickly and cheaply.
Lessons for Us in Esau’s Bible Story
Esau’s poor choice is an example of a psychological concept called “delay discounting’, which is also a trait of impulsiveness.
Researchers once studied people who regularly overeat versus people who exercised self-control with food. They found only one difference to separate the two groups:
The overeating people diminished the benefits of waiting on future benefits, like Esau.
In contrast, the people who exercised self-control valued future benefits above temporary gain.
When it comes to health and weight loss, here are some future benefits that may await you. God’s will for you is stated in 3 John 1:2:
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
These benefits are included in your health birthright:
- Boosted energy
- Increased confidence
- Improved quality of sleep
- Greater mental focus
- Enhanced shape and muscle tone
- Increased muscle strength
- Improved flexibility
- Better mood control
- Added glow to your skin
- Enhanced balance and coordination
- Improved endurance
- Reduced depression
- Higher stress resilience
- Improved circulation
- Clearer skin
- Freer breathing
- Increased optimism about life
- Amplified desire to tackle other life goals
Take a moment to consider if you are making an ‘Esau’ mistake:
- Are you trading your health birthright in exchange for poor food choices?
- How often do you consider your health birthright benefits?
- Do you consider what possessing the health birthright would mean for your family’s future?
If not, take a few moments to do that every day, which will help you make wiser choices when the enemy offers you a bad trade!
Ask the Lord for wisdom as to what you can do to make wiser choices in your health. Then listen for the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit.
When He tells you to do something that will change your health for the better, do it immediately!
The more you ignore the Holy Spirit’s effort to help, the more it will be harder for you to hear Him later.
But when you cooperate with Him, your whole life will start to change for the better. You will be blessed and take full possession of your health birthright.
Remember, this Earth is ultimately not our home. All who name the name of Christ has a mission from Jesus:
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”Mark 16:15
Our health is a resource we use to share the gospel, serve others and fulfill our destiny. Let us value it as the blessing it is!
Be Blessed with Health, Healing, and Wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with overeating sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my weight loss journey; I lost 85 pounds and dropped from a size 22 to an 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss.
“Prayer for Weight Loss”