January 10 | Daily Devotion

If you plan to read every verse of Scripture this year, use the Lectio Continua (continuous reading) passages. The  Lectio Semi-continua (shorter reading) is an abbreviated selection of verses from the day’s passages. Lectio Divina (divine reading) is Pastor Lionel Young’s commentary on the daily readings. See the Resources page on the Lectio Divina website for additional study helps.

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina (meditation on the text)

“Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank,
and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.” ~Genesis 25:34

Upon Abraham’s death, his family begins to grow. As promised, God even blesses Ishmael, Abraham’s son through Sarah’s handmaid, Hagar. Isaac and Rebekah have two sons, Esau and Jacob (Gen. 25).

Esau, whose nickname is “Red,” comes in from hunting one day so famished he feels as if he is going to die. Impulsively, he says to his younger brother who loves to cook, Hey, let me have some of what you’re cooking, and I’ll give you my portion of the family inheritance. The words are spoken in haste. He is probably half-joking.

You can almost read Esau’s mind: Who cares about the inheritance? It will be years before I get it. Besides, I don’t really need the old man’s help; I’ve got my own plans for the future. If I really need it, I’ll just take it back. I know Red’s actions sound silly, but how often do people make rash decisions with long-term consequences in moments of weakness? Consequences they aren’t really thinking about at the time. People throw away good marriages, promising careers, cherished friendships, or even their own lives with one rash decision. While his father Isaac goes on to enjoy God’s blessing on his life, Esau’s reckless decision makes life difficult for him and his family. He did need to eat and get some rest, but he didn’t need to sell his birthright to do it!

So stop, think, and pray before you act. Count the cost. Is there a better way forward than saying what you want to say right now, or doing what you feel like doing at this moment? There certainly are times in our lives when it would be better to wait before speaking or acting because our choices now may have consequences in the future. If you have already messed up, remember that Christ loves you and came to bring healing to sinners. Go to Him for mercy and help for restoration (Matt. 9:9-13).

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.