She was as cute as a button (I don’t know how that saying came about, but I have heard it all my life). She couldn’t have been more than three years old as she stood in front on me ignoring the basketball game behind her and eating her candy. I was immediately drawn to her because I have a little great-granddaughter about the same age and size. But the thing that brought a smile to my face was the T-shirt she was wearing. It said, “I will trade my brother for a cupcake.”

Contemplating such a trade in a small child brings only humor and laughter, but adults find serious consequences in some of the trades they make. The writer of the book of Hebrews calls Esau ‘immoral and irreligious’ for selling his birthright for a single meal (Hebrews 12:16).

Esau had come in from the open country and was famished. His brother Jacob was cooking some stew. Immediately Esau said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew?” It was not until later that Esau knew what a bad trade he had made. He then lifted up his voice and wept. Jacob got the birthright; Esau got the stew!

Thomas Whitelaw observed, “Esau is the type of many who accept the devil’s bar-gain of the world (mostly an infinitesimal fragment of it) for a soul.

Everything old seems to be new again. Consider the world of the Apostle Paul’s day. It was a time when men suppressed the truth. “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, be-cause they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worship and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen” (Romans 1:24-25)

Are we sure we want to trade?

John Gipson, WindSong Church of Christ, Little Rock, Arkansas

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