Summary: Discover helps for living an honorable life.
Happy Father’s Day, Dads and Grandfathers!
The Bible tells us, "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you (Exodus 20:12).” This commandment is not a suggestion. And God does not limit the application of this command to those fathers deserving honor.
Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong message about Satan. One boy said to the other, "What do you think about all this Satan stuff?"
To which the other replied, "You remember how Santa Claus turned out to be your Dad? Well, I think Satan is probably also your Dad in disguise.
Dads are credited with good and bad. Since dads are human, there is good in the worse of dads and bad in the best of dads. Unfortunately, certain segments of American culture see dads as the bad guy and at best as optional. I don’t believe dads are optional, but I do believe dads can come closer to deserve the honor to which God calls children to give.
My hope this morning is to help dads to live a life to deserve the honor our children are commanded by God to give to us. Our text is Genesis 25:19-34.
Birthright is not a common concept in our day and culture, but you need to know Esau paid too much for his stew. Hebrews 12:16-17 reads, “Esau, for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.” When Esau gave up his birthright, he gave up the promise from God to make his descendents the blessing to the world.
Esau paid too much for his stew. He changed the destiny of his posterity for a bowl of stew. In Malachi 1:4, God said, “[The children of Esau] may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD.” We see God’s favor departed from Esau’s posterity.
Esau is not the only man who paid too much stew. All men have this tendency. Some men pay for their career with their family. They allow their career to take everything they have. No effort, energy or time is left to develop an intimate marriage or to train up their children. My pastor reminded me early in my ministry that this church can always get another pastor, but my family only has one dad.
Some men pay for a moment of pleasure with their marriage. Adultery often costs more than a marriage. Sometimes the payment for a moment of pleasure costs two marriages. Sometimes the payment costs children. The payment always includes the man and the woman’s relationship with God. The payment also includes the man and the woman’s conscience.
Guys pay too much for stew. Call this tendency sin, bad choices or mistakes, if you want. But to be a father who deserves the honor God commands our children to give to us, we must learn not to pay too much for stew. The good news is that we can learn how to prevent this tendency from destroying our honor. Let’s look together.
First, we will not pay too much for stew when we feed regularly. Vs. 29-33
Stew is stuff for which we are willing to pay an unreasonably high price because we are starving. Esau was too busy and too driven by his desire for success as a hunter that he skipped a meal and returned home starving after a day in the open country. He probably wouldn’t have chosen to eat lentil stew if he had the choice, but starving people rarely feel that they have a choice. In fact, starvation often leads to susceptibility to paying too much for stew.
There are many examples of starvation leading to susceptibility. When a man is physically starved, he is less likely to think in terms of health and cost. He may pay three times the normal price for an unhealthy candy bar from a vending machine. When a lady is relationally starved, she is less wise about receiving love from the right person. She may pay with her virginity for a man who will listen or empathize.
Whether we are starved physically, emotionally, spiritually or relationally, we are susceptible to paying too much for stew. Many people are spiritually starved, and they pay with their soul for shallow, quick-fixed, feel-good and self-centered spirituality.
The solution to not paying too much for stew is to feed regularly. Overly hungry and overly tired people are more likely to give into temptations in every area of life. Having healthy food within reach, eating regularly, and getting sufficient rest will help a great deal in our ability to think wisely and not be susceptible to temptations.