Sunday, January 13, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Were You There"1 (Lyrics)

Genesis 25:29-32 – Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright." "Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?" (NIV)

Amos 8:11 – "The days are coming," declares the Sovereign Lord, "when I will send a famine through the land — not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord." (NIV)

Have you ever wondered what Jacob's stew tasted like? Most Bible scholars believe that it was made with lentils. Considering the nutritious quality of such a meal, I thought that it would be interesting to try to recreate this historical dish. Hence, I decided to make some lentil soup, a popular food in the Middle East even today. Unfortunately, although it was a healthy meal, my family was not impressed. The taste could be described as bitter and dry.

I imagine Jacob's stew turned out much better than mine. However, the Scripture says that Esau was "famished", indicating that he might have eaten just about anything that day. Consequently, he sold his birthright to Jacob. In those days, this inheritance involved a special position of honour bestowed upon the firstborn son, who would also obtain a double portion of the family's wealth. Yet, without hesitation, Esau exchanged his sacred birthright for a common, every-day bowl of stew.

By way of comparison, the prophet Amos warned Israel of a different situation, one not lacking in physical food, but in the words of the living God. Unfortunately, this same famine still exists today in the lives of many people. Though the reasons may vary, the effect is the same: worldly standards influenced by secular humanism and false teaching equal a spiritual famine that undermines a close relationship with God through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Thus, the result is a feeling of emptiness and despair.

As Christians, we are redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb, through Whom we have been adopted into the family of God. In light of this covenant friendship, we may view the Scriptures as a record of God's will and testament to us. Therefore, it is the most valuable inheritance we can ever obtain, a birthright that we cannot afford to trade for the vain philosophies of this world. In the end, nothing can be compared to the riches we have inherited through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Prayer: Lord, You are the Word made flesh — the bread of life Who alone can provide nourishment for our hungry souls. Pour out Your life-giving Spirit and quench our thirst with springs of living water, overflowing from the fountain of Your salvation. May it be done, according to Your will. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <dlalsina@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Lori for a good reminder.

    Dear Lori;
    Thank you for your devotional this morning. I am actually making a big pot of lentil soup for this week. Hopefully it will turn out; have a good recipe.

    Dear Lori:
    Blessings on you this Sabbath day.

    Dear Lori,
    Thanks for this reminder of our need to keep nourished! I bet you receive lots of offers for recipes for lentil stew – one of my favourite healthy meals which can be very delicious, if made with the right ingredients! (Red lentils and sweet potatoes, with lots of garlic, tomato paste, onions, and a bay leaf)

    Hi Lori. This is an excellent analogy of the condition our world is in. So many supposed Christians seem to think nothing of trading in their inheritance in Christ for a brief fling with the world. Some seem to fall into this trap through ignorance due to a lack of knowledge of the scriptures, while others simply enjoy the excitement of their flirtation. It is sad that they seem to know not that they know not.

    Great message. Thanks for sharing. The inheritance view of your devotional brings real meaning to how we should live ours lives. The world’s temptations should not lure us into the exchange for eternal life with our savior.

    Good morning Lori:
    For years I have taught that the famine of hearing God’s message would come through the closing of Christian radio broadcasts, godless governments banning church meetings, and so on.
    Thank you for bringing me a new perspective, the simple refusal of worldly people to listen.

    OH Lori!
    You touched a tender place in my heart with this devotional as I have recently dealt with “birthright” issues.
    Our inheritance as God’s children is so wonderful and we must have eyes to see and ears to hear in order understand and take part in all its benefits.
    Be encouraged in your ministry as you write.

    Excellent devotional Lori,
    I was just reading the story of Esau but I could not relate to him since in out family there were no birthrights nor did I ever encounter anyone with one. But I knew how to be hungry alright. I appreciated the way you worked round to a deeper lesson in the account of Jacob and Esau. Nor have I ever tasted lentil soup although I do have many dishes containing lentils.

    Lori – Another great devotional! Famished is the goal of organizations who are currently attempting to remove all religious/spiritual programming from T.V./radio. This will render Christians and seekers hungry for messages of hope and salvation. We are fortunate as the Daily is going forth with His message; let us pray that it will always be able to continue to do so.
    Thank you for giving us this fine story and application.
    (California, USA)

    Bless you Lori, and yours!
    What a wonderful devotional.
    I ask FATHER to protect and keep this horrid flu at bay and that our countries from the lowliest to the highest leader eyes be opened and they realize the citizens needs instead of thier own…
    that you for all you shared that year with me and other readers… GOD touches heart and soul of many readers and through you.
    Today’s was another special one.
    Looking forward to more!

    Thank you for your words. Blessings.

    Don’t you love that God’s stew recipe is better!!

    Good Afternoon Lori:
    Another great devotional. Our Lord certainly guides your pen in hand when you sit down to write a devotional for our instruction and spiritual growth.
    Over the years I have been saddened that Esau was so easily persuaded into selling his birthright to Jacob. Yet like you so wisely informed us, today many are turning their eyes towards the Prince of this world and grasping unto worldly standards, false teachings and an eternity without Christ, selling the wonderful gift of eternal life with their Lord for the pleasures he offers them but for a brief time.
    Your prayer, proclaiming Christ as the Word made flesh and the bread of life makes one realize how blessed we are to belong to God’s wonderful family, knowing one day we will join Him in eternity.

    Lori, Thank you for reminding me to watch out for the enemy trying to steal the truth from us through his crafty ways. Your writing always touches my heart and opens my eyes. May God bless you as you continue to give your precious gift to Him.

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