When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25:27-34)

Sin teeters things over, out of poise. Its fever steals away self-control; simple, strong trust in God under every circumstance holds us steady and content. Selfish longing for material advantage beyond his fair share led Jacob to tempt his brother. Bodily hunger, uncontrolled, made Esau underrate a sacred trust. Both lost control. Both had bad diseases, very contagious; epidemic still, everywhere. Poise—rarest of all rare things— comes through Jesus’ control strong in the life.

“The Bent Knee Time” Samuel D. Gordon