The Wrong Hunger

“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.”
– Genesis 25:34 (NIV)

stew

If you’re following along with the Discipleship Journal reading plan this year, today finds us in Genesis 25-26, Psalm 10, Acts 6, and Matthew 5:1-12. There is a great contrast between what we read in Genesis 25 and Matthew 5 today. In Genesis 25, we see Jacob cooking some stew while his brother Esau is out in the fields, possibly hunting. Esau comes home and is starving, so he asks his brother for some of the stew. Jacob (who always seems to outwit his brother) says sure – just sell me your birthright first. That was quite a price for one meal ! But for some reason, Esau goes along with it. He gets his meal and satisfies his hunger, but then finds trouble for most of the rest of his life. I wonder how often Esau looked back on that meal and considered how shortsighted he was.

On the other hand, in Matthew 5, we find the Beatitudes. Jesus is speaking to the crowds and declares, “”Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (5:6 ESV). The kind of hunger that Jesus is referring to here has nothing to do with stew or lunch or breakfast. He’s asking us to hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God – to seek His ways. He reminds us in John 6:35 that He is “the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

Have a hunger for God today. Seek His righteousness. Read His Word and strive for holiness.

count it all joy

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