Summary: Each of us experiences weak moments when we should not make deci¬sions. In a weak moment a dieter may see an appetizing dessert and yield to temptation.
Title: Watch Your Weak Moments
Text: "Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, See me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?" (Gen. 25:30-32).
Scripture Reading: Genesis 25:19-34
Each of us experiences weak moments when we should not make deci¬sions. In a weak moment a dieter may see an appetizing dessert 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. Weak moments can cause us to lose our character.
Esau had a lot of advantages. He was die oldest son of Isaac and Rebekah and thus had the birthright. He was a rugged outdoorsman and a skillful hunter. Unfortunately, he 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.
I. We must tame physical desires.
The first lesson we can 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.
A. Consider the occasion of Esau’s weak moment. Esau had been in the field hunt¬ing. 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. Under one condition could Esau have the stew, —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 NIV).
B. Weak moments are inevitable. These are the times when our resources are depleted. Our focus shifts to the temporal, and we zero in on satisfying the particular appetite that is nagging us and give little heed to the con¬sequences.
J. Wallace Hamilton wrote a book called Ride the Wild Horses. The the¬sis of his book is that God gave us every desire we have. No desire is bad within itself, but it must be controlled by God. So the first lesson here is to allow God to tame your physical desires. But there is another lesson.
II. We must treat privileges responsibly.
The story of Esau teaches believers a valuable lesson about treating the gifts entrusted to us responsibly.
A. Consider the gift of Esau’s birthright. Esau was the firstborn son of Isaac and Rebekah. This was a distinguished position, because in those days the firstborn son had the privilege of ruling the other children. The family inheritance would ultimately belong to Esau as well.
Esau had a marvelous privilege that he never could have attained through human achievement. Unfortunately, he disdained his gift dur¬ing a moment of weakness. Feeling the pains of hunger caused him to treat his privilege carelessly.
B. Gifts are not to be taken lightly. God endows all believers with one or more gifts, and he greatly desires that we acknowledge and use those gifts. We must not disregard them as Esau did. Let’s learn to cherish our privileges and to treat them responsibly.
So far we have learned two valuable lessons from Esau’s life. We can learn at least one more lesson.
III. We must consider decisions carefully.
Perhaps the greatest lesson Esau learned is the crucial importance of moments of decision. The decisions we make influence the rest of our lives.
A. Consider Esau’s crucial decision. Esau’s decision was a momentous one at the time. Stated simply, it was the decision to remain hungry and keep his birthright or to satisfy his appetite and lose his birthright. At the moment the decision seemed obvious to Esau. But later he lived to regret that decision
because he could never get his birthright back. That decision in a moment of weakness cast a shadow on the rest of his days on earth.
B. The decisions of life demand great care. Life brings all kinds of decisions, both big ones and little ones. We should be ever conscious of God’s leadership in our lives. He leads us during our moments of strength and during our moments of weakness. If we look to him for guidance, he will never lead us to regret a decision.
Do you have a resource for the weak moments of life?
All of us have those times, and we need help from someone greater than ourselves. Invite Christ into your life. He will join his life with yours.