Summary: Hasty Decisions lead to regret
Unit 9 – Family
Lesson 23 – Esau’s Choice – Genesis 25:19-34
Preparation for the Teacher
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand how to avoid making impulsive decisions that they will later regret.
2. Explanation of the Aim: Hasty decisions often lead to regrets. In our lesson today we try to teach the people how to avoid making an impulsive decision, as Esau did, in trading away his birthright, for some bread and bowl of pea soup. Jacob gained the birthright that included the inheritance rights of the firstborn, Esau, by making him swear an oath. Solomon once wrote, “The wise man sees the danger ahead and avoids it, but the naïve go ahead and fall into the pit.” (Prov. 22:3,4) Wise people make preparations for various situations so they are not tempted to make impulsive decisions that they always regret with tears.
3. The Bible Story: When a person is led by their fleshly impulses they tend to give in to temptations of their own sinful nature. Such was the case with Esau who disregarded the riches he possessed with his birthright because he chose to surrender to his appetite. The Lord gives everyone the ability to resist every temptation. (I Cor. 10:13) God graciously gives each person a way to escape big and small temptations if we will only choose His ways instead of our fleshly desires.
4. Prepare to Teach: The INTRODUCTION seeks to find out what are some of the temptations that are most alluring for people of their age group? Ask the people to discuss how some of the people might give in to various types of temptations to sin. Ask the people why so many people make bad choices when they are presented with temptations? The BIBLE STORY teaches the people about Esau who made a terrible choice to give away his birthright when he was tempted by the desires of his fleshly desire. The people will see how the a Spirit led Christian can use the power of the word of God to help them overcome temptations so they can make wise choices. The MEANING FOR OUR LIVES helps the people make wise choices in advance so they do not practice self-destructive choices by yielding to a whole range of evil temptations.
CLASS TIME (Begin with Prayer)
Ask the people to contrast a person like Esau who was characterized as having the works of the flesh versus someone like Paul the apostle who exhibited the fruits of the Spirit. Find out if the people know why some people seem to be led by anger, lust and evil desires? (Gal. 5:19-21) Ask the people why other people like the apostle Paul make choices that allow him to be full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control? (Gal. 5:22,23)
The Bible Story
The Lord is able to deliver us from any temptation as long as we are willing to ask Him for strength, wisdom and sufficient grace in our time of need. In contrast, when Esau was faced with hunger pains he willingly surrendered the most valuable thing he owned, his birthright for bread and bowl of pea soup. First, it is important to notice how little Esau thought of the value of his birthright. People who do not take an inventory of all the good things God has given them quickly become distorted in their perspectives of what is valuable. For the rest of Esau’s life and into eternity, the senior son regretted his decision to yield to temptation. Do not make decisions that you will live to regret.
For years Esau had scorned at his younger brother for not being enough of a man to go hunting. Now it was Jacob’s turn to see who was stronger, wiser and more cunning. Do not think that people can get away with ridicule. There will come a day when familiar faces will allow us to reap what we have sown. If you have shown mercy to others they will reciprocate in kind. However, those who have taken advantage of others will too find themselves being taken advantage of. God often uses the foolish things of the world to confound those who think they are strong.
Esau’s acts of folly indicated a weak character that showed a succession of fleshly rather than spiritual choices. Many of Esau’s decisions were based on his impulsive desire for whatever looked good to him at the time. Notice in Genesis 25:29,30 we read, “Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished! Then Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright!” Esau said, “Look, I am about to die, (A gross over exaggeration of the truth) What good is the birthright to me?” Foolish Esau gave in to his appetites at a time of weakness. Unless we are controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit we will all tend to give into our natural impulses to live by one’s fleshly appetites. Paul wrote, “Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” (Gal. 5:16,17) Our human sinful tendencies are contrary to God’s will. Only through the leading of God’s word and the empowering of the Holy Spirit are we able to overcome temptations and please the Lord in all respects.