- Sermon Notes
A Costly Cup of Stew
November 1, 2020
ILLUS – Selling an antique mirror at a garage sale.
1. What do you value in life?
2. Why do you value what you value in life?
3. This morning, we are going to study a passage in the Bible which serves as a valuable reminder to value what matters most in life.
1. Chapter 25 is a new section in Genesis which focuses on Isaac and specifically his two sons: Esau and Jacob.
2. When Isaac was 40, he married Rebekah shortly after the death of his mother, Sarah.
3. Like Sarah, Rebekah was barren, so Isaac prayed to the Lord and the Lord answered his prayers. (25:21)
4. But soon it became clear to Rebekah that this would not be a typical pregnancy.
5. She inquired of the Lord and the Lord told her that she was pregnant with twins, each one the father of a future nation.
6. In fact, the battle in her belly was the first of many between the fraternal twins.
Genesis 25:23, The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples will be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger.”
7. Isaac was 60 when his boys were born.
a. Abraham would have been 160 years old.
b. So, Abraham lived to see the birth of his grandsons and enjoyed their presence for 15 years before he died at the age of 175.
Transition – What was Isaac’s family like? A big mess.
I. Value People as God Values People (27-28)
• Or to say it another way, “See people as God sees people.”
• How does God value us?
• How does God see us?
Jeremiah 31:3, I have loved you with an everlasting love
A. Not for what people can do for you
ILLUS – A local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married for the fourth time.
1. Let’s begin by looking at Isaac’s example.
2. Esau was Isaac’s firstborn son.
3. His appearance was a sign of his future.
a. Red points to his rugged nature.
b. Red also sounds like Edom, the name given to Seir, the future home of his descendants, located east of the Promised Land in modern-day Jordan.
c. Hairy like a little animal or full-grown man. Hairy also sounds like Seir.
d. And Esau was a lover of the outdoors, a man of the field.
4. Esau was a skillful hunter.
a. So, Esau is linked to the ungodly Nimrod, the mighty hunter. (10:8-12)
b. Esau is also linked to Isaac’s older brother Ishmael, the archer. (21:20)
5. This description is a confirmation that Esau was not chosen to further the Abrahamic blessing. (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-19)
6. But Isaac loved Esau because he loved the taste of wild game. (28)
APPL – Isaac’s conditional love sent the wrong message to Esau.
APPL – When we read this, it is wise to stop and ask, “Is someone’s value determined by their appearance, ability, or pedigree?”
• The world looks for and values those things.
• But God does not love us for those reasons.
ILLUS – The prophet Samuel thought Jesse’s oldest son was Israel’s next king, until the LORD corrected him.
1 Samuel 16:6-7, When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before Him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Transition – The lesson for us is to value people as God values people, not for what they can do for you.
B. Not for what they might become
1. Now, we will turn to Rebekah and look at her example.
2. Jacob was always on Esau’s heels.
a. Jacob means “may He (God) protect.”
b. Jacob sounds like “heel” in Hebrew.
o Jacob grabbed Esau’s heel at birth.
o The name took on a negative meaning after Jacob stole Esau’s blessing.
o It was then associated with “one who grabs the heel” or “trips up” others.
3. Jacob was peaceful which suggests the idea of being complete or civilized. (27)
4. Jacob lived in tents. (27)
a. This links Jacob to Abraham and Isaac.
b. Therefore, Jacob is linked to the covenant blessing God established with Abraham and Isaac.
Hebrews 11:9, By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise
5. Rebekah loved Jacob. (28)
a. Esau was a brute of a man.
b. Rebekah kept Jacob by her side, protected so that nothing would get in the way of what God had promised.
c. She loved winners and Jacob would be one; Rebekah would see to it.
d. So, Rebekah valued the right thing, God’s promise, but she sought to bring it about the wrong way, through favoritism and later, manipulation.
APPL – Favoritism.
• People play favorites.
• But God does not play favorites.
Deuteronomy 10:17-18, For the Lord God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.
James 2:1, My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.
ILLUS – Window washer woes.
Transition – The struggle that started in Rebekah’s womb was tragically encouraged by Isaac and Rebekah when they foolishly took sides and played favorites.
• Again, we must value people as God values them and not for what they might become.
• The second principle is found in verses 29-34.
II. Seek First the Kingdom of God (29-34)
A. Pursue true riches from a pure heart
1. Now, it is Jacob’s turn.
2. The birthright was the privilege of the firstborn. After the father died, the eldest son. . .
a. Became the priest of the family.
b. Had judicial authority over family matters.
c. Received a double portion of the inheritance.
d. Inherited covenant promises.
3. Jacob knew the value of the birthright, his mom made sure he did.
4. Jacob also knew Esau’s pattern.
a. Esau would hunt all day.
b. Then, Esau would come back home ready to eat.
5. Jacob set the trap, the “hunter became the hunted.”
a. The Hebrew word cooked sounds like the Hebrew word for hunter.
b. It came to mean “to set a trap by cooking.”
ILLUS – Costco has mastered the art of setting the trap.
6. Esau smelled the lentil stew before he entered camp.
a. Esau followed his nose right into Jacob’s tent.
b. Jacob must have smiled like a Cheshire Cat when Esau walked in.
c. Jacob knew what he wanted to say before Esau said a word; his lines were memorized.
7. Jacob did not deceive Esau. He made it clear what Esau had to “pay to play.”
a. “First sell me your birthright” (31)
b. “First swear to me” (33)
8. But Jacob acted presumptuously, in the flesh. The Hebrew word cook also implies acting presumptuously or boiling over.
9. Remember, God told Jacob’s mom that he would be the greater of the two. (25:23)
a. But Jacob did not believe God.
b. Like his mom, he thought God needed his help.
APPL – But God does not need our help.
• God expects and deserves our faith.
• Our schemes will not fulfill God’s promises.
ILLUS – Abraham and Sarah learned this lesson the hard way when they tried to help God is Genesis 16.
APPL – Trust the Lord with all your heart.
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
1 Thessalonians 5:24, Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will do it.
Transition – Seek first the kingdom of God. Pursue true riches from a pure heart.
B. Do not despise the things of God
1. Esau did not value spiritual things.
2. Esau was led by his emotions and fleshly appetites. “I am about to die.” (32)
3. Esau is acting like the animals he hunted.
a. The Hebrew word swallow is later used to describe the feeding of animals.
b. Esau sought immediate gratification.
c. Esau had no concept of the future.
d. He lived for the moment.
4. This is emphasized by the sequence of verbs in verse 34.
b. Ate and drank
c. Rose and went on his way.
APPL – The fleshly man does not discern the value of spiritual things because he lives for the “here and now.”
1 Corinthians 2:14, But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
5. Esau’s actions reveal that he despised or profaned his birthright.
a. The Latin word profanus means “outside the Temple.”
b. It means to treat as common that which is holy.
APPL – What can we learn from these four examples?
• First, love God. He deserves an “all that you are” kind of love.
Mark 12:30, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.
• Second, love others the way Jesus loves us.
John 13:34-35, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
• Third, walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16, But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
ILLUS – Tuesday morning staff meeting hymns
APPL – Will you invite the Lord to be first in your heart?
Genesis 25:27-34 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a [a]peaceful man, [b]living in tents. 28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because [c]he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was [d]famished; 30 and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of [e]that red stuff there, for I am [f]famished.” Therefore his name was called [g]Edom. 31 But Jacob said, “[h]First sell me your birthright.” 32 Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” 33 And Jacob said, “[i]First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.