Esau’s Sobering Belief (Esau in the Bible Warning)

Esau in the Bible

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:

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!

Fear of death is the enemy’s Ace card. He uses it to keep people in bondage, even believers in Jesus.

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,

Kimberly Taylor

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.

Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program.

“Prayer for Weight Loss”

About the author 

Kimberly Taylor

Kimberly Taylor is a certified Christian life coach and has a heart to help others struggling with emotional eating and weight loss. Once 240 pounds and a size 22, she can testify of God’s goodness and healing power to overcome. She lost 85 pounds as a result of implementing techniques to overcome emotional eating and binge eating disorder.

Kim is the author of "The Take Back Your Temple Program," which teaches Christians how to take control of their weight God's way and the books "The Weight Loss Scriptures" and "The Weight Loss Prayers."

Kim has been featured in Prevention Magazine, Charisma Magazine and on CBN’s 'The 700 Club' television program.

  • Wow! Kimberly, I am so glad Holy Spirit guided me to your Blog. I don’t struggle with weight, but I do struggle with staying away from “sweet pastries/even low sugar organic dark chocolate”. The spiritual nuggets you bring out in this Passage & Esau’s passage are so profound. I had not been enlightened to those truths before! Thank you for being obedient & sharing these truth-lessons, Christ taught you, with us all. 🙂

    • I am glad you are finding these devotionals helpful, Maria! God’s word is a feast and it is my prayer that each person who visits this website partakes of its abundance 🙂

  • Thank you, Kim! I have always struggled with delayed gratification, thank you for showing us how this story in the bible directly relates to that! I’m going to keep that list of health birthrights handy to remind myself.

    • You are welcome, Laura! In many cases, you actually can be satisfied now AND later. If Esau had only told Jacob ‘No thanks’ and took the other alternatives I mentioned in the article, he could have satisfied his hunger AND kept his blessing. But he told himself a lie and suffered the consequences.

  • Dear Kimberly this was the best word I’ve read.Its no words that I can say but thank you this is from the sprit of God for all man kind, to take this to heart and feast on this word you gave.It was an outstanding article.ThankYou

  • Kim, I love the way you bring the messages, the treasures that they hold and the wisdom they express. God has truly given you an exceptional talent. Thank you so much for the emails.

  • Hi Kimberly,
    This is a great article. I recognize myself in Esau’s choices, as I am not very good at delaying gratification, and it shows up in many different areas of my life, wreaking havoc all the way. Thanks for decoding this story for us all. It inspires me to make better decisions in my day-to-day life. God Bless.
    Joanne Harte

  • I feel I have been an Esau for the last 20 years, and even as of recent have felt so powerless and hopeless there is forgiveness and grace that I haven’t ruined God’s plan and what he has wanted and wanting to do in my life. I can’t do anything about the past but repent and use this tool of your article and pray for empowerment to truly commit myself to him fully and believe what he has in future body, mind and spirit benefits outweigh selling out to food and temporary pleasure any more. I am going to print this out and really meditate on it and ask God to really sink this word down deep! This article totally hit the spot! Thank you!

    • Hi Susanne – We serve a good God, don’t we? Isn’t it wonderful that He doesn’t give up on us when we mess up? So we shouldn’t give up on ourselves either because we serve a God who is ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, never leaves us nor forsakes us. Hallelujah! His mercies are new every morning. My prayer is that your heart become and remain good ground on which His word is falling. There is blessing in obedience to His word!

  • Kimberly:

    I began following you several years ago and studying the Word to deal with my lifelong weight struggle; I lost almost 50 pounds! Then “life” happened–caring for a sick parent, major work issues, and grad school. I’ve “found” almost 30 pounds, and have been struggling to renew my strength. Your daily devotionals keep me inspired. I’m working to stop condemning myself. You’re such a blessing!! Thank you for what you do; thank God for His calling on your life!!

    • I appreciate this word, Karura! Celebrate that you’ve kept 20 pounds off! It’s really easy to allow ‘life’ to happen. I discovered that myself when I got married almost 5 years ago and stopped doing the things that caused me to lose weight. Then, my clothes started getting tight. I had to realize I was in a new season, with new adaptations required to maintain healthy habits. Once I recognized what was happening, I had to make shifts in how I did things. I wrote about it here:

      I challenge you to recognize the season that you are in. Some of the things that worked in your old season may need to be “tweaked” to fit your new season. Ask the Lord in prayer for wisdom to adapt to your new season so that you can prosper and be in health as your soul prospers.

  • If I have it right he received his name cause of his ruddy/red comclexion. I believe the most important thing to remember is that Eve and Esau didn’t believe God’s word or promise. Others in the Bible were of the same thinking. What i do like is how Daniel and others did believe and were blessed. That is how I want to be. Not look so much at the negatiive but the possitive. I get discouraged mor easily than encouraged. So as much as I appreciate the comments, I just wanted to get in something possitive. Because of health issues, I am having to start pretty much over again, but believe I will succeed as I did when I started. Exercise if what I need to get back to the most.

    • Hi Jenn, I appreciate your comment. The bottom line message is to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading through obedience. To avoid confusion, I believe what Jesus says about the Holy Spirit directly from the Bible:

      John 15:26 – “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

      John 16:13 – However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

      Praise the Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit!

  • Kimberly, this was a great article! “I’m dying of hunger.” I never thought of it that way, but we (I) do similar things.

    I am doing better since I joined Weight Watchers, and I am writing down what I eat. This makes it clear what I am doing.

    Also, I am trying to pray every day for God to help me with food choices. I can’t do this without Him!


  • Wow! Thank you so much for this! I was crying out to God this morning, asking Him to help me and He sent me your words! Most days I procrastinate on reading many of the devotionals in my “inbox” thinking I’ll get back to them later….yet this morning, I went right to yours and read it through. I have been making “Esau” choices a lot lately! This morning as I was crying out to God, I asked Him to help me change, and open my eyes to see what He wants me to see. I’m saving your list of my “health birthrights” and I am going to meditate on them!

    Again, thank you for blessing me today!

    • You are welcome, Sue. To God be the glory for giving us every Spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. Now all we have to do is follow the Holy Spirit’s leading so that we can possess it 🙂

  • Thank you for your timely email. I’ve done a well for the last 3months on TBYT program…but my choices still need some help. I’m trying to stay in the word daily but have not focused as much on the ” health scriptures and affirmations. I am continually thankful for deliverance from gluttony and most other unhealthy choices. Still some work in receiving ALL that the Lord has provided for me through JESUS and His word. Thank you for your ministry you are such a blessing to me.

  • Kimberly,

    This article on What Esau Believed is an eye-opener. I never thought about immediate gratification with food from this perspective. I will be more thoughtful and, as you advised, ask the Lord for wisdom as to what I can do to make wiser health choices.



    • Praise God, Dawn! It definitely helps to take inventory of the blessing you have in good health. As I mentioned in the article, no amount of conniving Jacob did in that situation would have worked on Esau if he valued what he had accurately. I know God will give you wisdom as He has promised: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).” I am looking forward to your praise report!

  • Dear Kim,

    Wanted to say thank you for your obedience to the calling of God on your life. I’ve been following you for a few years now and I’m finally at a place that I am ready to Take back my Temple! Thank you for your emails and encouraging devotions and prayers! I enjoy them and they are food for my spirit!


    • Hi Jennifer – I appreciate your comment. The good news is that the food that God gave us to eat can taste good to us and be good for us! While Esau failed to realize that he had alternatives, we must remember that our goal with weight loss is to find our sweet spot – foods that taste good and are good for us. We don’t have to choke down foods we don’t like. You can create a win/win situation for yourself. It may take time, but the end result is worth it. May God bless you on this journey!

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