Watch Your Weak Moments Part 1

by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)

5-8-03


Watch Your Weak Moments

Text: “And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.’ Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright as of this day.’ And Esau said, ‘Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”’ (Gen. 25:30-32).

Scripture Reading: Genesis 25:19-34

I want to begin our Bible lesson by reading Genesis 25:19-34.
It’s a story you may be familiar with; how Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.
This is what the Bible says:
This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian. Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.” So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Each of us experiences weak moments when we should not make decisions.
In a weak moment, a dieter may see an appetizing desert and yield to temptation.
In a weak moment, a tired driver may decide to keep driving instead of pulling over, and that decision could be dangerous, even deadly.
In a weak moment, a father may give in to his anger and react by yelling and hitting his child.
Let me share a personal experience.
When my father died, my mother was naturally overcome with grief.
It was not a good time for her to be making decisions.
Many of my father’s friends came to visit my mother and to express their sympathy.
My mother gave them whatever they wanted to remember my father by.
Within two weeks she gave away all his tools, fishing equipment, and guns.
Later on, she wished she had not been so generous.
Weak moments can cause us to do things which are completely out of line with our character.

Esau had a lot of advantages.
He was the oldest son of Isaac and Rebekah and therefore had the birthright.
He was a rugged outdoorsman and a skillful hunter.
He was his father’s favorite.
Unfortunately, Esau had a flaw that cost him dearly.
He had trouble handling weak moments.
This flaw was especially apparent when he sold his birthright to Jacob because of sheer hunger.
The story of Esau teaches us some valuable lessons about the weak moments of life.

Let’s consider these lessons today and take them to heart.
The first lesson we learn from Esau’s life is that we need to tame our physical desires.
Esau allowed physical impulses to dictate his actions, and he lived to regret his carelessness.
Let’s mull over the incident of Esau’s weak moment.
Esau had been in the field hunting.
When he returned home, Jacob was cooking some red stew.
Esau was hungry and tired and that was his favorite dish.
He asked Jacob to give him some of the stew, and Jacob refused.
He said that Esau could have the stew under one condition-he would have to sell his birthright.
Listen to Esau’s response: “Look, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?” (Gen. 25:32).

This incident reveals the nature of both of these men.
Esau came from the field.
He had been outdoors and he was tired.
He was not starving to death as some would imply.
No one who had been brought up in the home of Isaac would starve to death.
His father, Isaac was a wealthy man.
There would always be something for him to eat.
The thing was; there was nothing prepared right at that moment but this stew, which Jacob had made.
Jacob was an indoor boy and a mama’s boy.
Evidentially, he was also a good chef.
“And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.”
This man asked for some of the stew and Jacob saw his chance.
He is a trickster, and he wanted the birthright.
He said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”

Let’s stop for a moment and look at the value of the birthright and what it means.
It means that the one who had it was the head of the house.
It also means that the one who had it is the priest of the family.

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