“so he [Esau] swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.” Genesis 25:33b
Esau had been out hunting all day and was hungry, probably feeling tired and not in the mood to cook. Jacob had hung around the tent all day, had a stew simmering in the pot. Esau walked by and the smell enticed him. He wanted that stew; it would appease his immediate desire of hunger. Jacob, Esau's younger twin, coveted what was Esau's- his birthright and was looking for an opportunity to obtain what was not his. Esau wanted the stew, the immediate desire; Jacob coveted something of a greater value. Jacob understood the value of the birthright- a greater percentage of the family wealth and the blessing of the Father. So, seeing Esau's hunger, Jacob would not just give Esau the stew, but bartered for it. Esau did not value the birthright, for he was only concerned with the immediate, and so gave Jacob the birthright in exchange for a bowl of stew.
I shake my head at Esau, but then question, how many times have I sold my birthright so my immediate desires were met? How many times have I purchased an item that was not needed when I could have given that money for missions? How many times have I sat around home playing games on the computer when that time could have been spent with family or helping neighbors? Am I as callous about my birthright as Esau? Are you?