Trades and Transactions

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And so Esau despised his birthright.”  The story intrigued me as I read it this morning. Twin boys were born to Isaac and Rebekah; Esau and Jacob. Esau, as the firstborn, had the promise and privilege of becoming head of the family later in life. Genesis 25 tells us about a fateful day when he gave it all away for a bowl of soup! Coming in from a long hunt and hungry, he smelled supper prepared by Jacob. He asked to eat and his brother took advantage of him. “Jacob said, “Make me a trade: my stew for your rights as the firstborn.” Esau said, “I’m starving! What good is a birthright if I’m dead?” Jacob said, “First, swear to me.” And he did it. On oath Esau traded away his rights as the firstborn.” (Genesis 25:31-33, The Message)

Esau’s choice is not uncommon. Eve gave up her place with God for a piece of forbidden fruit. Samson abandoned his holy calling, seduced by sensuality. David sold his integrity to enjoy Bathsheba’s beauty. Judas traded his place for 30 pieces of silver. Peter denied the Lord to gain security when he was full of fear.

In the book of Hebrews, the Spirit makes Esau an example for all of us.  Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.” (Hebrews 12:16-17, The Message)  We were created in the image of God, made to know and love Him. The sin that had robbed us of that heritage was forgiven in Christ and when we came to Him in faith, He made us ‘children of God.’  But a daily decision of faith is required to own our heavenly birthright.

We are all making transactions every day. We trade time and effort for treasure. The BIG question is “What do we treasure?”  Do you treasure your relationship with your Father, or is it possible that you are ready to ‘sell out’ for lesser things?   Owning the full promise of God requires that we see beyond today and reject the temptation of lesser things. ’  I am encouraged by Peter who reminds me that I am called higher and empowered by the Holy Spirit. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4, NIV)

The story of Esau is a life lesson for every disciple.

  1. You will only know the rich blessing of God if you value what He offers.
  2. Little choices have big consequences.
  3. Bids for your soul, your integrity, are being made right now.

Before you go your way this morning, I want to remind you that the choice of Esau need not be your choice and that you are NOT facing your temptation alone.

Here is a word from the Word. Receive it with faith and go discover the plan and purpose of the Spirit today.  “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up.” (Hebrews 12:2-3, NLT)  “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Hebrews 12:11, NLT)

Abba, I am grateful for the high calling of knowing Jesus and
the restoration of my relationship with You.
Today I face many transactions, trades of myself and my resources.
Give me the wisdom to buy the best, to see beyond my own needs.

 Help me to live selflessly, to pursue Your will.
May You be honored and my life enriched – by my thoughts, words, and actions.
In the Name of Jesus. Amen

 

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