Wednesday, July 4, 2018

2018.07.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 25:29-34

Questions for Littles: Who was boiling some food in v29? Who came in from the field? What did Esau ask for (v30)? What did Jacob demand first (v31)? What did Esau say about his situation (v32)? What did Jacob keep insisting that he do (v33)? What did Esau do? What does v34 say that Esau had done to his birthright?
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, Esau trades a moment of fleeting pleasure for his birthright.

Sure he was hungry, perhaps even faint with hunger according to the word used, but he wasn’t starving. It’s like a lot of children say when they’re clamoring to have their supper without any more delay: “I’m staaaarving!!” No. You’re. Not.

Literally, Esau says, “Make me devour! Please! The red! That red! I’m starving!”

No wonder they called him Red. Like father, like son. One track mind. We wouldn’t even put it past Jacob to know just what food to happen to be cooking at the entrance to camp, in order to tighten the screws upon his brother. You know Red; he’s a sucker for that red stuff!

Well, Esau’s wickedness was in a lack of control. He couldn’t contain his appetite, and treated as nothing a birthright that included fathering the line of promise! Oh, what eternal treasure one may trade for a moment of pleasure! He sprouted for himself a root of bitterness.

Jacob’s wickedness was not in a lack of control, but in maintaining a heartless, calculating, grip on control. He knew he had him, and he demanded an oath.

He didn’t need to do this. Undoubtedly, his mother had shared with him God’s Word about his destiny. But Jacob didn’t trust the Lord to bring it about. And that’s the greater sin here. Not so much that Jacob tried to control Esau, but that Jacob was trying so hard to be in control because he didn’t believe that God was.

I wonder if you can identify with that felt need, dear Christian—the need to be in control. If we act upon it, we can do real damage to others and to our relationships with them. But, even worse, we expose a grievous defect in our relationship with the Lord.

It is just as important to trust that the Lord is in control over everything as it is for us to practice the discipline of self-control of our desires!
In what area do you need more self-control? What circumstance is testing your trust in the Lord?
Suggested songs: ARP127 “Unless the Lord” or TPH231 “Whate’er My God Ordains Is Right”

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