Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright (Genesis 25:33-34)
One has to wonder if Esau would have despised his birthright if it had come with material advantages. He must have understood that it came with responsibility and perhaps this is why he despised it so — it was going to cost him something. According to the Bible, Esau was not deceived by Jacob at this point – he knew very well what he was doing. He just didn’t care about it because he was a profane person (Hebrews 12:16).
On the other hand, Jacob’s desire to acquire the birthright must have also included the expectation of the responsibility that goes with it. It would appear, then, that Jacob was motivated by honor and duty, not by lust and greed. Consider that his attempt to acquire it was not hidden from Esau – he asked him plainly. This honesty reveals Jacob’s true nature and, at the same time, reveals the heart of his spiritually immature brother.
As God’s people, we are to act with honor and integrity and especially when it comes to the things of God. We should never mislead or misguide anyone even when we feel that they are in error. To the contrary, we should always conduct ourselves in a way that pleases our Father so that, once we have fulfilled our responsibility, He will not hesitate to reward us with the blessing that comes with obedience.
Blessings and Shalom,