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God Alone Can Satisfy

Today's Devotional

When Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in [and] said to Jacob, . . . “I’m famished!” Genesis 25:29–30

A thousand dollars of food—jumbo shrimp, shawarma, salads, and more—was delivered to a homeowner. But the man wasn’t having a party. In fact, he didn’t order the smorgasbord; his six-year-old son did. How did this happen? The father let his son play with his phone before bedtime, and the boy used it to purchase the expensive bounty from several restaurants. “Why did you do this?” the father asked his son, who was hiding under his comforter. The six-year-old replied, “I was hungry.” The boy’s appetite and immaturity led to a costly outcome. 

Esau’s appetite cost him a lot more than a thousand dollars. The story in Genesis 25 finds him exhausted and desperate for food. He said to his brother, “Let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (v. 30). Jacob responded by asking for Esau’s birthright (v. 31). The birthright included Esau’s special place as the firstborn son, the blessing of God’s promises, a double portion of the inheritance, and the privilege of being the spiritual leader of the family. Giving in to his appetite, Esau “ate and drank” and “despised his birthright” (v. 34).

When we’re tempted and desire something, instead of letting our appetites lead us to costly mistakes and sin, let’s reach out to our heavenly Father—the One who alone satisfies the hungry soul “with good things” (Psalm 107:9).

When have you allowed temptation to cost you a great deal? Why can only God satisfy your deepest longings?

Dear God, please help me to remember my spiritual birthright when I’m tempted to sin.


In the biblical world, the birthright of the firstborn son involved both special material benefits and spiritual privileges. The firstborn was entitled to a double portion of the paternal inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:17). More important, the firstborn was the head and spiritual leader of the family. The family line was maintained through the firstborn, even if other sons were named (see 1 Chronicles 7:1-4). In the case of Jacob and Esau, the birthright determined who would inherit the blessings of God’s covenant with Abraham—the inheritance of a land, a nation, and the line that would produce the Messiah. Although Jacob valued the birthright, he deceitfully took it from his brother (Genesis 27:35-36). But Esau’s willingness to abandon his spiritual birthright for immediate physical gratification showed that he “despised” spiritual things (25:34), thus disqualifying him as unfit to be the lineage from which the Messiah would come. He was considered “godless” (Hebrews 12:16).

By |2024-03-14T02:33:21-04:00March 14th, 2024|
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