February 5, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 25:19-34

In Genesis 25, the early years of Esau and Jacob are condensed to just a couple paragraphs. From the womb, the two “struggle” with each other and this will persist throughout the rest of their days, as foretold by God in verse 23. The brothers will father two different nations, divided and in conflict. The lesson I want to focus on comes from decisions made later in the passage.

The ESV Study Bible explains: 

“While Jacob may be criticized for exploiting his brother in a moment of weakness, Esau is indifferent toward his firstborn status. He does not grasp the significance of all that God has promised to fulfill through the unique line descended from Abraham, of which he is the natural heir.”

In this case, Esau is completely blind to reality. His solution for hunger is to get something to eat no matter what it cost him. It’s so strange that Esau could have been so irrational, and amazing how much could be changed by one reckless decision. But truly, it’s not very hard to see myself in this scene. There are times when I have chosen my own way, or acted impulsively, seeking temporary satisfaction when something far better awaited my obedience. A very good friend of mine once wisely rebuked me saying, “Bro, you’re trading richest satisfaction in God for your passing pleasure.” Closeness with God and walking in His way is the great reward we were designed to crave and be satisfied in. I love how C.S. Lewis articulates it:

“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased,” (The Weight of Glory).

How about you? Do you recognize when your flesh leads you to prefer immediate gratification instead of walking in the ways of God?

Don’t be fooled thinking your heart wants indulgence in fleshly pleasures. God’s ways save; ours don’t. Instead, know that having God, and even, having God and nothing else, is all you need to be satisfied.

By: Taylor Gilliam

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

7 thoughts on “February 5, 2016”

  1. Great word Taylor! Yet we live in a society that encourages this very behavior. This really hit home for me several years ago when I was a budget counselor in another church. We see things that we “absolutely have to have” so we into debt to acquire them. But what we’ve really done is trade away our future. Later in life as we get a glimpse of the Lord’s plans for us, we wonder why we don’t have the money or energy to make it happen!

  2. Do you recognize when your flesh leads you to prefer immediate gratification instead of walking in the ways of God? Powerful question today, Taylor.

    Satan is always in our ear creating great desire in us for things that give immediate gratification. (James 4:7 Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you)

    On another note: In verse 22 Rebekah made an inquiry of the Lord, “Why is this happening to me?” The Lord reveals to her that the older twin son, Esau, will serve the younger, Jacob. Do you suppose this foreknowledge led her to favor Jacob and thus support his efforts to deceive both Esau and her husband Isaac? Just a little food for thought on this Friday. Blessings CPC family!

    1. Interesting. I’ve always questioned Rebekah’s participation. Perhaps for “foreknowledge” could be replaced by “trusted what God had told her”, when many would question God because His word to her wasn’t humanly rational. Tx for your comment. It spurred a new perspective for me.

  3. “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.”
    -Hebrews 12:15-16

    Esau desired God’s blessings, but he did not want God. He regretted what he had done, but he did not repent. How often have I found myself between two paths, one of righteousness, the other of destruction? And yet, standing there for a terribly long time between the two, much too long, thinking many times, “behold, I am about to die…” when God alone is the clear choice! The only source of fulfillment, purpose, comfort and redemption!

    “See to it,” says the author of Hebrews…Believers are to watch their own lives, so as to give a testimony of peace and holiness, as well as to look out for and help those in their midst who are in need.

    Thank you for Jumpstart today!

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