Over eggs and coffee yesterday morning, I had an interesting conversation about Esau’s stew. My friend Gary raised the question, “I wonder if Esau, being raised in a good, covenant home, bowed his head to give thanks for the very meal for which he exchanged his birthright?”
Yeah, and that led to the rich, young ruler who was rich because he was a good, covenant boy, and inherent in the covenant for those who kept the law was the provision of wealth. Where did he get his stuff? If you take God at His Word, then you’d have to say it came from Him. That’s what a covenant is: you hold your end of the bargain, I’ll do my part. The rich, young ruler’s shed was packed to the rafters with blessings. Yet those blessings became his undoing.
Then that led to other “stews” we slurp. Like America. It’s good to be living in the “land of the free and the home of the brave” I’ll grant you. Undoubtedly, God had much to do with people migrating here long ago, and the New World became fertile soil—centuries later—for an evangelistic push the likes of which the Old World had never seen. Some of heaven gleamed on these shores, perhaps…but heaven is not festooned with reds, whites and blues as a theme. Sorry.
America is not the “City on a Hill” Jesus referenced in His Sermon on the Hillside. This nation is not in view for 2 Chronicles 7:14. To say other is to promote nationalism, and that’s just stew. I mean, it’s good and yummy and all that, and we are indubitably the beneficiaries of faithful generations, but America—itself— is stew. It’s a rich young ruler’s portfolio.
And Esau died and in hell he lift up his eyes.
And the rich, young ruler—we would call him middle-aged (and religious)—blessed as he was, slumped away from eternal life Himself.
Don’t be a hater. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the blessing of America. I just don’t mix stew with birthright. I’ve never traveled outside the continental U.S. of A. and don’t think I’ve missed anything out there. I bet if I went overseas, I’d count the days until I could kiss the ground of my birth country.
Israel was blessed—by God—with meat in the wilderness but they soon became obsessed and meat stew ran out their nostrils and they choked on it. I’ll bet that stew “came back up” on Esau later that night and he regretted it forever. It probably smelled like something had crawled down his throat and died.
Some in the church are deceived by the “lie” that you can have both your stew and keep the birthright. You prayed a prayer a good while back? Did you say certain words? You asked Jesus to be your Savior? You remembered to say you believe in His death and resurrection? Oh, terrific, then! You are IN!
I have a friend who almost got up and left a recent Sunday service because the pastor actually said:
I know you won’t hear this anywhere else because other preachers don’t have the guts to say it, but I will. It doesn’t matter if you leave here today and get drunk, have an affair, kill someone or any other wicked sin. If you prayed a prayer to accept Christ, you will still go to heaven. That’s how secure you are.
The wealthy, middle-aged, church administrator asked Jesus: “Can I have You and my stuff?”
What King Jesus didn’t say in response was, “Is your pope catholic?”
He pretty much closed the discussion with “Can a camel go through a needle’s eye?”