Charles Stanley - Sacrificing Your Future For The Pleasure Of The Moment
Broth or birthright? No rational person would choose the former at the expense of the latter. Yet Esau did, and he’s not the only one among us sacrificing the future for momentary pleasure. In this message, Dr. Stanley exhorts us to exercise self-awareness and self-control when it comes to the temptation of instant gratification. Learn to consider the cost of your decisions so that you can protect the future God has for you.
We are living in the “now” generation. Whatever we want, we can often find a way to get it immediately. This could be good if it’s a legitimate and pressing necessity, but it can also be dangerous if what we desire is not something God wants for us. The problem with “have it now” thinking is that we don’t pause to consider the consequences of our actions. One of Satan’s tactics is to keep our minds on the pleasures and benefits of whatever he’s offering us. How much better it would be if we submitted our desires to the Lord and waited on Him to provide what He knows is best.
Many people today are living for the moment and are willing to pay any price to get what they want. This is the situation we see in the story of Jacob and Esau recorded in Genesis 25:25-34. How each brother responded to this situation teaches us an essential lesson.
Abraham’s son Isaac had twin sons with his wife, Rebekah. Esau was the firstborn and grew up to become a skillful hunter, but Jacob was a peaceful man who preferred staying home. One day when Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from hunting and said, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished” (v. 30). Jacob told Esau if he’d swear to sell him his birthright, he would let him have some stew.
In a Hebrew family, the birthright was a very precious possession of the eldest son, which granted him the place of headship, honor, and authority in the family, as well as most of the father’s property after his death. Yet Esau was willing to trade away this privilege for some soup. His choice demonstrated that he despised his birthright (v. 34).
Esau’s mindset is a perfect picture of our society today, which tends to think only of the present without considering the future consequences.