27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. 28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because 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 famished; 30 and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called 2Edom. 31 But Jacob said, “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, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
This one is a classic story I’ve heard since I was young in Sunday School. We’ve likely all heard it several times. Jacob is making a lentil stew, and his brother, Esau, has been out hunting game. Apparently, Esau had caught nothing this day and was famished. We always say that he traded his birthright for a bowl of stew, which seems stupid enough when we are looking back at it. That isn’t quite accurate though. Esau only asked for a swallow of stew. One bite was enough for Esau to trade his inheritance. We often hear it said that, “every man has his price.” That shouldn’t be the case. We should always strive to be people of integrity, regardless of what we are offered in return. Don’t be an Esau. Don’t despise your integrity for any price.