I’ve always been a great hunter. They say I’ve managed to cut the local animal population in half. I doubt that. It certainly hasn’t slowed down my sport if it has.
My brother? He likes to cook. He likes to garden. He has the most pathetic beard I’ve ever seen. I don’t think he has ever been away from Mother for more than a day. It’s just embarrassing.
One time I was away from home on a long hunting trip. I was hunting animals for their skins. I ended up in a part of the country with very few edible plants, and I’m pretty sure I had already skinned every edible animal. I wished that I had saved some of the meat, but I knew I could easily put something together when I got back home.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen as soon as I thought. A stupid storm came out of nowhere! The ground was so incredibly muddy that I had to stop at every step and pull my legs out. By the time the rain had finished, I had lost all my energy. It took pure willpower to get to the edge of our camp. I collapsed on the ground next to my brother’s tent.
When he came out, he immediately began laughing at my disgusting appearance and horrible smell. If I had any strength at all, I would have changed his laughter into sobs. I thought he would help me if I explained my predicament. After all, we’re family.
I offered to give him anything if he would just give me something to eat. He mentioned he actually had a pot of lentils that was just about done. Now, I have to admit that his lentils are pretty good. I had tried some of his lentils before. Then he did some creative marketing. He ran inside and quickly came back with a spoonful of the soup. He gave it to me. I had never tasted something so delectable. Then he asked me how much I would pay for it. I mean, I understand it. He was preparing it for himself. If he gave it to me, I would eat the entire pot of it, and he would have to prepare something else for himself. I told him I would give him half of the furs I had brought back from my trip. It was a fairly generous offer. He could sell them for a significant sum. Instead, he wrinkled his nose at the thought of all those dead animals and stated his counteroffer. He wanted my birthright. How typical! He had been fighting to be first ever since birth, and it looks as though he is still following that adolescent pursuit.
Well, here is where I did the stupid thing. I accepted. You must understand, I was on the brink of death. I wasn’t thinking straight, and my brother took advantage of me! He made me swear that he would receive the birthright, so I muttered the words he told me to say. I didn’t care what it meant, I just did it.
Those were the best lentils I have ever tasted. Even when I was scraping out the bottom of the pot I considered my barter. It may have actually been worth it. Anybody would have done the same thing in that situation. I traded future wealth for my life. My brother traded his lunch for future wealth. If you really look at it, my trade actually had less risk involved. But I was angry. My brother had taken advantage of me and had taken what was my God-given right. So I went and told Father.
Father and I sorted things out. He was quite annoyed about the stupid predicament I had gotten myself into, but much more angry that his younger son had been so deceiving. He said that God wouldn’t reward someone for tricking his brother. He assured me that I would still receive his blessing. I don’t think I need to worry about it. As far as I see it, I got a free meal.
I think Esau may have tried to justify his trade at first, just to convince himself it wasn’t stupid. I also think he was fairly confident he was getting the better deal when his father decided to give him the birthright anyway. Who would have predicted that crafty Jacob would have done the same thing twice?