The New Year is one of those measuring times for me. You know; a time to examine my life and see how things are really going. How is the dream progressing? Am I on track? Is this anywhere near where I believe God wants me to be?
In Genesis 25 Esau trades his divine destiny for a bowl of stew. This is not something that is looked mercifully upon anywhere else in scripture. The writer of Hebrews describes him as “Godless” for this act. Why, do you suppose, this one action is judged so severely? Why was he not able to get the birthright back later on when he came to his senses? I think there are several reasons. First of all; he has been replaced. The plan of God does not just cease when we decide not to play the roll he has for us, another son steps up to fill the part. (That doesn’t mean we should just go off and die; there is always a second chance for those who return to God in Christ.) Secondly, and I think most importantly, God is revealing through the life of Esau, a fatal flaw that each of us is susceptible to if we do not guard our hearts. Each of us need to take care that we do not trade our divine destiny, that we do not give up all that we could be, all that we should be, in exchange for momentary pleasure.
Think about it. There is no Bible verse that says, “Thou shalt not do drugs”. There is no command not to watch television from the time you get home from work until you can no longer keep your eyes open. As a pastor who regularly councils frustrated wives I really wish there was a verse that said playing on the computer every spare moment was against the will of God, but there isn’t. What there is though is this story of Esau; the story of a man who lived like there would be no consequence for doing what he wanted to do in the moment.
If you find yourself, this January, suddenly aware that you are somehow missing the plan of God for your life, then ask yourself this question:
“What am I trading it for?”
Is it a bowl of food? Is it sexual gratification? Some guilty pleasure that you have convinced yourself is, “No big deal.” Maybe you are just playing Peter Pan and refusing to grow up and be a man. Eventually you need to discover that hanging out with the boys is something that “BOYS” do. Whatever you are doing, drinking, binge eating, sleeping, shopping, surfing; realize this; these little issues are the “bowl of stew” in our lives. Now I ask you, what’s it going to be?
- The dinner or the destiny.