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Trading Heaven for a Bowl of Stew Text Version
The Story of Jacob by Brian Carlisle

Flower readers

Some years ago, I took several teenagers from our home church to another town to play a game of basketball against a church whom we fellowship with. This was no professional game or tournament. We were just ten guys who were out to have some fun. I will change the names of the teenagers so no one is embarrassed by this story.

sun When we arrived at the park to play, the other church team had not arrived, so we began to practice. After a while, we began to wonder if the other teenagers were coming, so I went to find them. Ten minutes later, I arrived with the news that the other teenagers would arrive in just a few minutes. But when I returned to my group of teenagers, they were jumping around with excitement.

"Wait until you hear what happened to us!" one of my friends shouted.

"Gary almost got into a fight with a group of boys who wanted our basketball court!" another one shouted.

"What happened?" I asked.

"These five big, older boys came up and told us to leave because they wanted our court," Tim explained. "We told them 'no,' that it was first come first served, and we were here first. They knew we were right, so they started to leave."

Can of Coke "Okay," I thought. "Not too much excitement...yet."

"Suddenly, the biggest boy looked at Gary and told Gary to give him his Coke to drink."

"What did you say, Gary?" I asked.

Gary pushed his chest out proudly and replied, "I set my Coke behind me and told him that he would have to kill me if he wanted my Coke."

I wanted to cry right there on the spot. Why? Because I had been trying to get Gary to accept Jesus as his Savior for so long. Each time I tried, Gary would always respond that he wasn't strong enough to resist temptation and serve God.

"Gary," I wanted to shout, "if you would defend your faith with the same courage and determination you were willing to use to defend your Coke, no one would ever be abel to convince you to turn away from God!"

Several years have passed since that afternoon, and Gary is very tall and powerful. Gary is so strong, no one will stand in his way. Yet Gary still is not a Christian. Why? He's not strong enough to be one, he claims.

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This has always reminded me about a story in the Bible about two brothers - twins as a matter of fact. Their names were Jacob and Esau.

hunter Although they were twins in birth, they looked and acted totally different. Jacob was a farmer with soft, smooth skin. Esau was a hunter. He was big, strong and covered with hair, especially on his arms, face and neck.

One day, Esau went out into the woods to hunt for some food. Esau walked and crawled all day and never was able to kill himself something to eat. When Esau returned home that evening, Esau walked passed Jacob's tent. Jacob was in front of his tent, cooking a big pot of stew over his campfire.

"Oh, that smells good!" Esau grunted, as his stomach began to growl.

"Yes, it is," Jacob smiled. "I put everything you like in this stew. Actually, I think that this stew is the best stew that I have ever made."

Jacob sells Esau his birthright "Can I have some, please?" Esau begged. "I'm so hungry, I think I'm going to die!"

"Well," Jacob began. "I was planning on giving away what I didn't eat to one of my friends. He's hungry, too," Jacob slyly replied.

"Please. I'll give you anything!" Esau promised.

"Anything?" Jacob grinned.

"Yes. Just give me a bowl of that stew!" Esau shouted with hunger.

"I'll give you a bowl of my stew for your birthright," Jacob offered.

pottageNow a birthright was something very valuable back in those days. When a father died, his oldest son, who had the birthright, would receive the biggest part of the inheritance. He would get more land, more cattle, more money, more servants - more of everything that his father owned. And since Esau was born just a few seconds before Jacob, Esau was the oldest and therefore he had the birthright. When their father Isaac died, Esau was to inherit a whole lot more than Jacob. However, before the father died, he would call in his oldest son and pronounce a special blessing upon him. This was considered more valuable than the cattle and servants he would receive.

"Yes!" Esau eagerly shouted. "What good is my birthright if I die of hunger tonight? I won't be alive to inherit anything, so my birthright has no value to me!" The Bible says that Esau despised his birthright.

For one bowl of soup, Esau gave away the most valuable item he owned - his birthright. Esau, by giving away his birthright, gave away cows, sheep, goats, land, servants, money, and his family blessing for one bowl of stew that probably made his stomach hurt all night.

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Now how are these two stories connected that I have told you? First, they are both true. Second, both Gary and Esau valued something small and cheap, more than they valued the greatest gift ever given to man.

As a Christian, we are part of the family of God. God has promised us many things for our life here on Earth, but He has also promised us eternal life and a mansion in heaven where there will be no more hunger, pain, enemies, or anything bad.

Heaven Heaven is going to be a wonderful place! It will be greater than we can ever imagine, and all we have to do is keep serving God. Sometimes serving God is easy. Other times it may be difficult, but we must protect our birthright, our inheritance in Heaven. One day in Heaven will be worth all the trouble and trials we have here on earth.

Never give up your birthright! Never give up serving God! Don't trade it for food! Don't trade it for friends! Don't trade it for fame or money! Nothing here on earth can compare to the wonderful blessings that God has waiting for you in Heaven!

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THINK!

What was the name of Jacob's twin brother?
Which brother loved to hunt?
What member in the family rightfully owned the birthright?
What did Esau take in exchange for his birthright?
What kind of things are people tempted to exchange for their spiritual birthright?

REMEMBER!

Sometimes it may seem like Heaven and the enjoyment of your birthright is so far away. But remember the story of Jacob and Esau and how Esau sold what was most important for something of very little importance - a bowl of soup. Never give up serving God for anything in this world.


A VERSE TO LEARN

"...that ye have in heaven a better and enduring substance" (Hebrews 10:34b).



LET'S PRAY

Dog and boy praying

****************************************************
Dear God, thank You for sending so many before me
to teach me the way to live. Help me to never
give up serving You, no matter what Satan offers me.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
****************************************************


CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
Genesis 25:24-34



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crayons

Jacob and Esau coloring Page
Jacob
Jacob and Esau
Pottage
Esau Trades His Birthright
Colour the Bible Book 1: Genesis - 2 Chronicles
Story of Jacob (Bible Colour and Learn)
The Book of Genesis (Bible Colour and Learn)
Bible Stories to Color and Tell (ages 3-K)
Bible Story Cards Coloring Book - Old Testament
Bible Story Coloring Pages (Reproducible)
Children's Coloring Books
My Bible Coloring Book (Shirley Dobson)
Old Testament Scenes Stained Glass Coloring Book
Smart Coloring Books


activities

Selling Your Birthright (Word Search)
Stay True Maze
Birthright Puzzle (Answer Key)
Jacob & Esau Activities (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Esau and Jacob Activities
Jacob Word Search
Fill in the Blanks
Word Search
Crossword Puzzle
Bible Detectives: Genesis
Extreme Adventures with God: Isaac, Esau, and Jacob (Kay Arthur)
Jacob's Dream Poster
Best Book of Bible Activities
Encyclopedia Of Bible Games For Children's Ministry
The Humongous Book of Games for Children's Ministry
Amazing Bible Mazes
Memory Verse Games for Kids (Take Me Through the Bible Series)
Big Book Of Bible Puzzles (Reproducible)
Bible Puzzles: Word Search
Big Book Of Bible Story Activity Pages V1 (Gospel Light Big Books)
Christian and educational toys
Children's Activity Books
Children's Puzzles
Crossword Books
Bible Word Search


child reading a book

A Very Expensive Bowl Of Soup
Jacob
Two Brothers, Jacob and Esau
Esau and Jacob
Jacob's Promise
Rebekah-Mother of Twins (Bibletime Books)
The Almighty Bible: Genesis
The Birth of a Nation - Abraham to Joseph
Jacob's Dream : The Story of Jacob's Ladder (Arch Books)
Children's Bible Story Books
100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs w/2 CD
Baby's First Bible
Beginner's Bible
Bible In Pictures For Toddlers
Early Reader's Bible
Five Minute Devotions for Children (ages 4-8)
Little Hands Story Bible
The Children's Illustrated Bible
Toddlers Bible
Pilgrim's Progress for Kids
Bible stories
Children's Books
Spanish Children's Books
The Picture Bible (Spanish)


crafts

Jacob's Bowl Clay Craft
Craft Ideas For Any Story
Puppet Crafts For Kids
Treasure Chest Crafts
Bible Crafts On A Shoestring Budget (Grades 1 & 2)
Bible Crafts & More (Ages 6-8)
Big Book of Bible Crafts (Ages 3-12)
Encyclopedia Of Bible Crafts For Preschoolers
Praise God With...Craft Series
Praise God with a Paper Plate (PreK-Grade 2)
Really Big Book Of Cool Crafts For Kids w/CD-Ages 4-12 (Reproducible)
Children's Crafts & Hobbies


birds singing

100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs w/2 CD
Bible Songs with Cedarmont Kids
Bible Songs
Children's Music


CDs and Videos

Bible Comes Alive Series (Your Story Hour)
Brothers at War - Episode 5 (Animated Kids Bible)
Great People of the Bible: Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob & Joseph
Jacob DVD (Bible Collection)
Old Testament Bible Stories: The Sons of Abraham
The Story of Jacob and Joseph
Amazing Bible Stories
Read and See DVD Bible
Children's DVDs


Resources for Parents & Teachers

Soup Pot Name Tags
Jacob and Esau (Adobe Reader Required)
Lesson Ideas For Jacob and Esau
Genesis 25
The Life Of Jacob
Jacob Becomes Israel
Jacob and Esau by Charles Spurgeon
I Isaac Take Thee Rebekah

Different Children, Different Needs:
Understanding the Unique Personality of Your Child


Five Love Languages Of Children
Extreme Adventures with God: Isaac, Esau, and Jacob (Kay Arthur)
Bringing Up Boys (James Dobson)
On The Way 3-9s Book 1 - Creation, Abraham & Jacob Curriculum
On The Way 11-14s Book 1 - Abraham, Jacob, The Messiah, Jesus Said 'I Am' & Ruth Curriculum
801 Questions Kids Ask About God (Focus on the Family)
Absentee Postcards
African American Resources
Almost Every Answer for Practically Any Teacher (Bruce Wilkinson)
Bible Crafts and Activities for Any Story
Big Book of Bible Games (Gospel Light)
Bulletin Board helps
Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul
Children's Church Resources
Children's Sermon
Church Nanny Sos: Teaching Discipline Essentials for Preschool Ministry Volunteers
Church Supplies
Closing Prayer
52 Games That Teach The Bible
Flannel Graph Story Sets to Purchase
Free educational videos
God's Servants Teach Me (Instant Bible Lessons)
God's Wisdom for Little Boys: Character-Building Fun from Proverbs
Help! I'm a Sunday School Teacher (Focus on the Family)
Hermie Scripture Memory
How To Lead a Child To Christ
King James Version Award Bibles
Leading Little Ones to God: A Child's Book of Bible Teachings
Lord Teach Me To Pray For Kids (Kay Arthur)
Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours
Memory Verse Resources
Object Talks
Opening Prayer
Parenting
Pray & Play Bible for Young Children
Puppet Scripts
Resources for Teachers
Seven Laws of the Learner (Bruce Wilkinson)
Spanish Resources
Sunday School Attendance Boosters: 165 Fresh Ideas
Sunday school resources
Talking to God (Instant Bible Lessons)
Teachers' Reproducible Classroom Pages
Teaching children
Teaching Children Memory Verses Ages 4-5
Teaching Children To Pray Ages 4-5
Teaching to Change Lives (by Howard Hendrickss)
The Big Book of Bible Skits
Things To Make Craft Activities
20 Bible Verses Every Child Should Know /CD (Heritage Builders)
Vacation Bible School
What Every Sunday School Teacher Should Know
(by Elmer Towns)



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