Recommended Reading: Mark 9:43–48; Romans 8:5–16; Hebrews 12:14–29
This is a story that really connects with men. We can understand how Esau felt after he came in from a long day in the fields. He had been hunting, and he was tired, hot, and famished. Hunger consumed him, so much so that his appetite, and his desire for immediate gratification, overruled his self-control. He had no thought for the future. He saw it, smelled it, and wanted that stew—now.
We’ve all been there, literally and figuratively. Just before mealtime, you’re raiding the cupboard or the fridge. “Where’s something to tide me over? Got to have something! So what if I ruin my appetite?” You want it now.
And food is just the beginning: New electronic “toys” beckon. Our vehicle’s odometer turns over a certain number of miles, and we start thinking about a newer vehicle. The latest vacation spot beckons. So to get what we want, now, we unadvisedly bust the budget.
We see an alluring woman and lust sparks our desire. We take a step closer. Our appetite overrules self-control. But there’s always a price to pay.
There’s no doubt about it, while we’re in this body we’re consumed with a gnawing sense that we have this hole in our lives that needs to be filled. We long to fill that hole with any number of material things and experiences, both good and bad. But no matter how much money we make or what kinds of pursuits we chase after, that hunger for more still eats away at us.
Instead of going to God’s Word for direction when tough temptations loom, or instead of using the brains he gave us, we go with our gut. Or worse, we fly on autopilot, not giving a second thought to the consequences of our actions.
Like Esau giving up his birthright for some bread and stew, we sometimes exchange true joy for a temporary thrill, a blessed future for immediate fulfillment. We carelessly toss aside our imperishable spiritual birthright for a consumable—and fleeting—fantasy.
The rewards of obedience to God’s will are flushed away every day by such hasty choices. We give up our financial security or our own sexual purity for a rush that lasts only seconds. The regret, however, can last for years.
So before giving in, stop and pray. Give it some time. Then take another look at the price tag on that spiritual birthright God offers. It’s marked “priceless.”
To Take Away
- What “hungers” control you or draw you away from God?
- Do you think “living for the moment” can kill the soul? Why?
- What are some ways you can resist temptation and hold on more tightly to your birthright?