Short Term Benefit, Long Term Gain

John Tilton


Genesis 25:29-34 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”“Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.


Due to Esau’s hunger and focus on the moment rather then the future and long term gain, he gave up his birthright, and as it states in the scriptures “despised” his birthright because of it. Thus, he knew later that he made a mistake. His hunger and desire for the food that would give him an immediate benefit would fulfill him for the moment, but in reality would cost him much more long term.


I ponder that often in life, we do the same by looking only so far as the immediate time at hand and what we want, rather then what we can gain long term with planning and perhaps some challenge and sacrifice. Our human DNA is often immediate relief and appeasing our temporal desires over what can be a long-term blessing and good.


Dear Lord, I pray that by your guidance, I will have discernment and discipline to forego the often easy and temporal benefits and desires in order that I may realize the long-term gains and blessings of your will in my life and for my family and I. May I suppress what might be easy and enticing for what I know will be best for me by your guidance of your word.

Devotions for January 10

Genesis 25,26
Psalms 6
Luke 10

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