01/23/Th – Selling Out for the Immediate

Genesis 25:29-26:16; Matthew 8:28-34; Psalms 10:16; Proverbs 4:14-19

OT: “Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field exhausted. He said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, because I’m exhausted.” That is why he was also named Edom. Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die, so what good is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to Jacob and sold his birthright to him. Then Jacob gave bread and lentil stew to Esau; he ate, drank, got up, and went away. So Esau despised his birthright… The Lord appeared to him (Isaac) and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I tell you about; stay in this land as an alien, and I will be with you and bless you. For I will give all these lands to you and your offspring, and I will confirm the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky, I will give your offspring all these lands, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring, because Abraham listened to me and kept my mandate, my commands, my statutes, and my instructions.”” (‭‭Genesis‬ ‭25:29-34; 26:2-5‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Esau despised his birthright. What does that mean and why is it noteworthy… to the point that it is mentioned in the book of Hebrews? First of all, what was Esau’s birthright? It is to be heir of the blessing that God conferred on Abraham, and then later conferred to Isaac… to be the conduit through whom God would bring salvation and blessing to all the nations of the earth. Esau didn’t value that honor at all. He held it in such cheep esteem that he glibly sold it for the immediate gratification of a bowl of lentil soup. He sold out eternal significance to satisfy a few hunger pangs. On the other hand, Abraham so honored God’s blessing and calling that he set aside the immediate and trusted God for eternal blessing – and for Abraham’s sake, God blessed Isaac with the same blessing. Are we aware of the eternal significance of our lives? How often do we sell out what God is willing to accomplish through us to temporarily satisfy the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eye, or the pride of life?

NT: “When he had come to the other side, to the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him as they came out of the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. Suddenly they shouted, “What do you have to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time? …If you drive us out,” the demons begged him, “send us into the herd of pigs.” “Go!” he told them. So when they had come out, they entered the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water… At that, the whole town went out to meet Jesus. When they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭8:28-29, 31-32, 34‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

The Gadarenes were descendants of the Tribe of Gad. During the time of Moses, as the Nation of Israel was preparing to enter the promised land, the Tribe of Gad and the Tribe of Ruben settled for an immediate inheritance instead of trusting the Lord for what was on the other side of the Jordan (see Numbers 32). They sold out the promise for what they could put their hands on immediately. By the time Jesus arrived, they had devalued the call on their lives so much that they had completely forsaken the commandments of God and were raising swine… and when the Son of God Himself arrived in their midst, they wanted nothing to do with Him. After all, He may shake up their status quo and require them to stop gratifying their sinful desires. How much do we miss or how much are we unwilling to receive because we value and enjoy our pleasures more than the will and ways of God?

Proverbs: “Keep off the path of the wicked; don’t proceed on the way of evil ones. Avoid it; don’t travel on it. Turn away from it, and pass it by… The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday. But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don’t know what makes them stumble.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:14-15, 18-19‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Compare the path of the righteous to the path of the wicked. While the path of the wicked may bring immediate gratification and temporary satisfaction, it is full of darkness and snares. The path of the righteous may be challenging, and it may take longer to get where you are going, the path is full of light and life that grows greater and greater the longer you travel on it.

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