Tag Archives: Loving your Brother

Chains of Greed

Living in the Spirit
July 11, 2017

Scripture Reading: Genesis 25:19-34

Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. Esau said to Jacob, ‘Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!’ (Therefore he was called Edom.) Jacob said, ‘First sell me your birthright.’ Esau said, ‘I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?’ Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’ 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 his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. –Genesis 25:29-34

One of my aunts who had no children of her own, carefully taped the names on each piece of her memorabilia of the niece or nephew or friend designated as its recipient upon her death. My guess is she saw too often the fights heirs have over estates. She also was a career school teacher/librarian and understood the principle of valuing each individual.  I always wondered what there was about a particular piece of crystal that made her pick it for me rather than giving it to my sister, brother, or cousins.

As a twin, Jacob was in the odd position of losing the prime hereditary position by only a few seconds. The Bible portrays him as crafty throughout. His cheating his brother is only the first example of others yet to come. Esau gains the reputation of one easily taken, trading his inheritance for a bowl of beans. Jacob would be a revered oligarch in our world today. We probably all have a touch of greed in our beings. Making the most of money in our society is a valued trait.

Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 says The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is vanity. 1 Timothy 6:10 states For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

The problem with greed is it can never be satisfied. Greed is an addiction that overtakes one’s life often replacing perceived wealth for God.

Prayer: God, we live in a greed-ruled world. We are so enamored with it; we cannot see it as harmful. Open our eyes, free us from the chains of greed. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the new Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.