Esau Despised His Birthright Gen. 25:24

Esau Despised His Birth Right Gen. 25:24 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

In Gen 25:29-34 Esau despised his birthright.  If we can see why Esau despised his birthright, we can see why Christians forfeit their inheritance with Christ.  But first we need to lay a little groundwork.

Some details about the birthright.

Esau was the firstborn child of Isaac – Gen 25:25

The birthright belongs to the firstborn – Gen 43:33

The birthright involves his inheritance.  The firstborn gets a double portion of his father’s estate [Deut 21:15-17].  Joseph received a double portion of Jacob’s estate when the birthright was given to him as the firstborn of Rachel, because Reuben, the firstborn of Leah, had forfeited his birthright.  As you can see, the birthright can be forfeited and given to others [1 Chr 5:1-2].

Esau, as the firstborn, had the birthright.  He sold his birthright for bread and pottage of lentils [Gen 25:34].  Thus, he despised his birthright.  Later, he accused Jacob of taking his birthright [Gen 27:36].  Of course, this accusation was false.  Esau sold his birthright [Gen 25:31].

Why did Esau sell his birthright?  Esau sold his birthright because:

He was a man of the world – Gen 25:27-29 – Esau was a man of the field and the field is a type of the world [Matt 13:38].  The day Esau sold his birthright, he came from the field.  Men who are preoccupied with the world do not value an eternal inheritance.

He was faint – Gen 25:29 – see Prov 24:10; Gal 6:8-9 – the world, the flesh and the devil will wear you out.  In Esau’s case, Jacob wanted that birthright and he waited until Esau was good and worn out to get it.  The devil will wear you down and at just the right time he will get you to sell out your inheritance.

His God was his belly – Gen 25:30 “feed me” – see Rom 16:18; Phil 3:19 – Esau wanted food and he wanted it right now.  A man who lives after the flesh cannot please God.

His appetite was for the world’s things – Gen 25:30 – “the same red pottage.”  He wanted the same food that his brother was eating.  As Christians we are supposed to set our affection on things above and not on the earth.  We are not to listen to the same music, or watch the same movies, or drink the same beverages, etc. as the world.  Esau was a good cook [Gen 27:3-4] but he wasn’t willing to feed himself.  Christians, whose God is their belly, will not feed themselves with the savory meat of the words of God.

He exaggerated his circumstances – Gen 25:32 – “I am at the point to die.”  We have said the same thing on occasion.  We have said, “I am starving to death.”  He was not at the point to die.  He wasn’t even 40 years old yet [Gen 26:34] and he was still alive over 80 years later when his father died [Gen 35:28-29].

He sacrificed the eternal on the altar of the temporal [a Bob Jones, Sr. quote] – Gen 25:32 – “what profit shall this birthright do me?”  The birthright was a long way off and the hunger was right now.  At this point he didn’t even have children to whom to leave his inheritance.  Lust works the same way.  It convinces you to fulfill your lust now because the inheritance is such a long way off.  Esau eventually realized the value of his birthright and he “found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”  If you sacrifice your eternal inheritance today for a temporal pleasure, you will weep later when you realize what you forfeited.


There are young Christian ladies who get into relationships with young men and in the heat of the moment, with temporal pleasure before them, they sacrifice their inheritance to fornication [Heb 12:16; 1 Cor 6:9-11].  Esau sold his birthright for one morsel of meat.

There are young Christian men who are so anxious about having a girlfriend that they are not willing to wait for God to provide.  They will get with a young lady that God doesn’t want them to have rather than wait for the young lady that God has for them [Prov 19:14].  And in their disobedience they often cannot control their lust and sacrifice their inheritance for fornication.

There are men so attached to the world and the desire to accumulate more and more possessions that they are willing to sacrifice their inheritance for covetousness.  They are so worn out with having this world’s goods that they have nothing left for God’s work.  Thus, they come up short at the judgment seat of Christ.

Conclusion: According to 1 Cor 6:9-11 there are myriad sins that will cost you your birthright.  Esau despised his birthright; don’t despise yours.