The Decisions You Make Today Can Negatively Affect Your Future

Andy Stanley gave a sermon that every Christian should hear.  It would make an impact on most believers that are trying to live a holy life.  Many of us know the story of Esau and Jacob.  Esau was the oldest son and in Jewish culture that made the eldest receive the “birthright”.  The birthright was a special honor given to the first born son.  It gave him twice as much as any other sibling’s inheritance.  Upon death of the father, it also made him the family leader and the judge of any disputes in the family.  It gave them a different relationship to God than the others.  The oldest son, if he chose to do so, could sell or give it away.  If he did, he would lose the material benefit and give up his leadership position.  Esau by giving up his birthright gave up the spiritual blessing that came with it.  He traded it for an immediate pleasure without considering the long-range consequence of what it would do.

Genesis 23:30 – 40 – “He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)  Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”  “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”  But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.  Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.  So Esau despised his birthright.”

Here is the consequence: The Bible probably would have read—Abraham, Isaac and Esau the father of twelve sons.  Esau possibly gave up every benefit that Jacob received from God.  We can fall into the same trap.  When we see something that we really want, what are we willing to do to get it?  Our first impulse may be to do whatever it takes. That could mean using the credit card, having an illicit affair, being dishonest to gain materially.  What is it that tempts us?  What is our bowl of stew?  What are we willing to give up in the future, to satisfy an immediate craving or lust that we have at the moment?

Esau exaggerated his hunger.  I doubt that he would die if he didn’t get the stew.  Yet, don’t we think similar thoughts?  No one will know.  It won’t hurt anyone.  The pressure of the moment gives us a different perspective making the decision seem urgent.  Isn’t it possible for us to justify almost any decision we make?

Consider how Esau’s decision changed his future, his family’s future and the world’s future.  If you have read the Bible almost everything from that time on, in the Bible, is about Jacob and his heirs.  Follow Esau’s history and there is very little good that came out of it.  From Esau came many of those who have accepted Islam and are Muslins.  Esau and his descendants are bitter enemies with Jacob’s heritage.  They have been enemies for centuries.

Decisions we make today not only affect us but influence the lives of our family.  We are seeing it today.  Many unwed teenagers having children with little chance of them growing up with a spiritual upbringing.  Unwise choices destroy families.  We know of politicians who have destroyed career opportunities for a bowl of soup.

We have all had the pressure that comes from temptations.  The devil knows what our bowl of soup is.  This is why it is so important to reach spiritual maturity and live a life trying in every way to please God.  We must never do things knowing that God will be displeased.  That is sin!  Stop and think—consider the consequence!  Will the decision I make today, displease God and change the lives of my children, grandchildren and on?  Don’t make the mistake Esau did and have the affect he had on so many.


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