Watch Your Weak Moments

5-8-03

Watch Your Weak Moments

Text: “And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.’  Therefore his name was called Edom.  But Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright as of this day.’  And Esau said, ‘Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”’ (Gen. 25:30-32).

Scripture Reading: Genesis 25:19-34

 

I want to begin our Bible lesson by reading Genesis 25:19-34.

It’s a story you may be familiar with; how Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.

This is what the Bible says:

This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son.  Abraham begot Isaac.  Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian.  Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived.  But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.  And the Lord said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.”  So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb.  And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau.  Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.  So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents.  And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.  Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary.  And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.  But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”  And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”  Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.  And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.


Each of us experiences weak moments when we should not make decisions.

In a weak moment a dieter may see an appetizing desert and yield to temptation.

In a weak moment a tired driver may decide to keep driving instead of pulling over, and that decision could be dangerous, even deadly.

In a weak moment a father may give in to his anger and react by yelling and hitting his child.

Let me share a personal experience.

When my father died, my mother was naturally overcome with grief.

It was not a good time for her to be making decisions.

Many of my father’s friends came to visit my mother and to express their sympathy.

My mother gave them whatever they wanted to remember my father by.

Within two weeks she gave away all his tools, fishing equipment, and guns.

Later on, she wished she had not been so generous.

Weak moments can cause us to do things which are completely out of line with our character.

Esau had a lot of advantages.

He was the oldest son of Isaac and Rebekak and therefore had the birthright.

He was a rugged outdoorsman and a skillful hunter.

He was his father’s favorite.

Unfortunately, Esau had a flaw that cost him dearly.

He had trouble handling weak moments.

This flaw was especially apparent when he sold his birthright to Jacob because of shear hunger.

The story of Esau teaches us some valuable lessons about the weak moments of life.

Let’s consider these lessons today and take them to heart.

The first lesson we learn from Esau’s life is that we need to tame our physical desires.

Esau allowed physical impulses to dictate his actions, and he lived to regret his carelessness.

Let’s mull over the incident of Esau’s weak moment.

Esau had been in the field hunting.

When he returned home, Jacob was cooking some red stew.

Esau was hungry and tired and that was his favorite dish.

He asked Jacob to give him some of the stew, and Jacob refused.

He said that Esau could have the stew under one condition-he would have to sell his birthright.

Listen to Esau’s response: “Look, I am about to die.  What good is the birthright to me?” (Gen. 25:32).

This incident reveals the nature of both of these men.

Esau came from the field.

He had been outdoors and he was tired.

He was not starving to death as some would imply.

No one who had been brought up in the home of Isaac would starve to death.

His father, Isaac was a wealthy man.

There would always be something for him to eat.

The thing was; there was nothing prepared right at that moment but this stew, which Jacob had made.

Jacob was an indoor boy, and a mama’s boy.

Evidentially, he was also a good chef.

“And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.”

This man asked for some of the stew and Jacob saw his chance.

He is a trickster, and he wanted the birthright.

He said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”

Let’s stop for a moment and look at the value of the birthright and what it means.

It means that the one who had it was the head of the house.

It also means that the one who had it is the priest of the family.

In this particular family, it means that the one who had it would be the one who would be in the line that would lead to Christ.

Esau didn’t value his birthright at all, and Jacob knew he didn’t.

He attached no importance to it and he didn’t want to be the priest of the family.

In fact, that’s the last thing he wanted to be, so when he was hungry, he gave his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.

In our day, sometimes when a Christian is asked to do something for the cause of Christ, he replies, “Oh, I’m not a preacher; I can’t do that!”

There are too many folks today who do not want to do that which is spiritual.

They don’t even want to give the impression they are interested in spiritual things.

That was Esau.

He didn’t want to give that impression.

If anyone would have called him “deacon” or “preacher,” it would have insulted him.

He didn’t want the birthright.

He didn’t care about being in the line that leads to Christ.

No one could have cared less about being in that line.

Jacob sees this, and he says to him, “I’ll tell you what I’ll do, if you’ll give me your birthright, I’ll give you a bowl of stew.”

Esau was very happy with the bargain.

He said, “I’ll be very happy to do it; what profit is the birthright to me?  What do I care about the birthright?  I’d rather have a bowl of stew.”

That is the value he attached to spiritual things.

He made a bad decision in a moment of weakness.

Remember, I said at the start that this incident revealed something about the nature of both these men.

Jacob was also a man who in a weak moment made a wrong decision.

God had promised, “The elder shall serve the younger.”

The birthright is coming to Jacob in God’s own time.

But Jacob can’t wait so in a moment of weakness he reaches out to take that which God has promised him.

He takes it in a clever, tricky fashion.

He should have waited for God to give it to him.

Two nations came from the families of these brothers.

Jacob fathered the Israelites and Esau fathered the Edomites, who lived south of the Dead Sea.

Hundred’s of years later, David lead Israel to the conquest of the Edomites, and they remained under Judean control for 130 years; proving God’s words-the elder shall serve the younger.

One thing that we all know is that weak moments are inevitable.

There are times when our resources are depleted.

A person may say, “I’m at the end of my rope.”

Our focus then shifts to worldly desires, and we zero in on satisfying the particular appetite that is nagging us at that time and we give little heed to the consequences.

J. Wallace Hamilton wrote a book called “Ride the Wild Horses.”

The thesis of his book is that God gave us every desire we have.

No desire is bad within itself, but it must be controlled by God.

I may not agree with Mr. Hamilton’s theme, but I do agree that we must allow God to control our thinking.

So the first lesson here is to allow God to tame your physical desires.

But there is another lesson.

The next lesson is that we must treat privileges responsibly.

The story of Esau teaches believers a valuable lesson about treating the gifts entrusted to us responsibly.

Think again about the gift of Esau’s birthright.

Esau was the first born son of Isaac and Rebekah.

This was a distinguished position, because in those days the first born son had the privilege of ruling the other children.

The family inheritance would ultimately belong to Esau as well.

Esau had a marvelous privilege that he never could have obtained by personal achievement.

Unfortunately, he despised his gift, and during a moment of weakness he gave it away.

Because he felt the pains of hunger, he chose to treat his privilege irresponsibly.

But Gifts are not to be taken lightly.

God endows all believers with one or more gifts, and He greatly desires that we acknowledge and use those gifts.

We must not disregard them as Esau did.

Let’s learn to cherish our privileges and to treat them responsibly.

The last lesson that we can learn from the story of Esau is that we must consider decisions carefully.

Perhaps the greatest lesson Esau learned is how crucially important moments of decision can be.

The decisions we make influence the rest of our lives.

Consider these decisions, which for most of us, are already over and done with:

Who shall I marry?

Shall I go on to college or just go to work?

Should I go into the service?

Should we have a large family or just one child?

Should we buy that house?

Do we need a new car?

What church should we attend?

We sure make a lot of decisions, don’t we?

And I have to admit that I have made a lot of “bad” decisions; decisions that have hurt me and my family.

I made so many “bad” decisions because I reacted during times of weakness; and I didn’t seek God’s guidance.

Let’s think again about Esau’s crucial decision.

Esau’s decision was a momentous one at the time.

Stated simply, it was the decision to remain hungry and keep his birthright or to satisfy his appetite and lose his birthright.

At the moment the decision seamed obvious to Esau.

But later he lived to regret that decision because he could never get his birthright back.

That decision in a moment of weakness cast a shadow on the rest of his days on earth.

The lesson we learn from this story is that the decisions of life demand great care.

Life brings all kinds of decisions, both big ones and little ones.

So we should pray about everything, and we should seek to know God’s leadership in our lives.

He leads us during our moments of strength and during our moments of weakness.

If we look to Him for guidance, He will never lead us to regret a decision.

Do you have a resource for the weak moments of life?

All of us have those times, and we need help from someone greater than ourselves.

Invite Christ into your life.

He will join His life to yours.

He will add His strength to yours.

And then when you find yourself in one of those inevitable moments of weakness you won’t be alone.

His Spirit will be inside of you; to comfort you, to guide you, to strengthen you.

Amen.

 

Do you have any questions or comments

 

There are 5 websites by this author:

http://harmonyofthegospels.yolasite.com (Life of Christ)

http://teachingsermonsforpastorsandlaymen.yolasite.com (sermons)

http://theepistlesofpaul.yolasite.com (Titus and Jude)

http://paulsepistletotheromans.yolasite.com (Romans)

http://theperiodofthejudges.yolasite.com (Judges)

 

Please review them and use them as the Lord leads you.

May God bless His precious word!!

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