Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Esau's Stomach

Don't you hate it when you exchange temporary happiness for what could have been far deeper fulfillment?

Esau did this... he asked his brother Jacob for soup in exchange for his birthright.  Esau's reacted to his immediate desire which overpowered him and in fact made him crazy.  Who in their right mind would sell their birthright for food?  But Esau did.  And he did so carelessly, not thinking it through.  We know this because later Esau acts like the birthright should still be his and begs his father for any left-over portion of it that he can get.  Esau did not have vision to see that being temporarily satisfied would mean destroying his chances of receiving a lasting blessing.

Esau did not realize the grave effects of his actions until later.  He returns from the field to find that his father Isaac has been tricked into giving his brother Jacob the birthright that had originally belonged to Esau.

Someone in South Asia who never heard this story, heard this and reacted: "This must have felt like electrocution to Esau."

The Bible says, "He wailed loudly and bitterly."

I bet he never regretted giving into his hunger pangs as much as he did then.

"Why couldn't I have just waited to get food?  What was I thinking?  How could my desire for a full stomach be greater than my desire for a birthright and blessing?"

And if just missing out on the birthright was enough of a negative effect that would be one thing.
But Esau's anger over his own actions and the consequences drive him to not only hate his brother, but even make plans to kill him.

Oh, the destructive power that can be found in an empty stomach.

And yet...how many times do we carelessly give in to temptation or sin, talking ourselves out of the fact that even if it does not obviously affect anyone else, it is indeed a direct attack against our Creator.  How often do we realize the effect of our actions later, and cry out for the consequences to be removed and replaced with a blessing.

"Why can't we just wait for what is promised?  What are we thinking?  Why do we convince ourselves that vanishing 'right-now-happiness' is somehow better than eternal joy?

Forgive me, Lord.  May I not trade your royal stamp for the temporary tastes of this world that only leave me hungry and never fully satisfy.  May I find my complete satisfaction in you alone.

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