Summary: Story of Esau and Issac. Choice we make now will determine our future.
WHAT YOU FEED; YOU WILL GROW
There was a campaign that took place when I was in elementary school and older. It was promoted on poster that decorated our school cafeteria. The posters had a clear message, ¡§You are what you eat.¡¨ Today I would like to play on those words a little. I would like you to look at the story of Jacob and Esau with me and see that ¡§What you feed, you will grow.¡¨
The conflict in this passage has led to wars and problems for many, many years. I want us to look beyond the surface of this story into the spiritual application that it has for all of us.
I. SPIRITUAL CHOICES 29-34
A) First let¡¦s understand that Esau was not actually starving to death. He was hungry. He was exhausted. But he was not dying of hunger.
1) When we make the wrong spiritual choices many times it is because our perception of life is distorted.
A Texan was telling a crowd of Easterners about the viciousness of the wild steers on the range. "I was walking along close to a mesquite thicket the other day," said the Texan, "when one of these critters crashed out and came for me. I ran for the closest tree. The lowest branch on it was twenty feet up. There was nothing to do but to jump for it."There the Texan paused for a moment. The tense silence was broken by an anxious voice. "Did you catch it?" someone asked. The Texan drawled, "No, I missed it going up, but I caught it coming down."
2) Exaggerations can lead us to spiritual decisions that are dangerous. When we exaggerate the magnitude of our current circumstance it can cause us to sell out on our Christian convictions that should be good for time and eternity.
B) Esau was more concerned with filling his fleshly desires of the immediate than having a relationship with God. A bowl of soup meant more to him than spirituality.
1) Where do you get that from? J. Vernon McGhee says ¡§The man who had the birthright was in contact with God, and he was the priest of his family. He was the man who had a covenant from God. He was the man who had a relationship with God.¡¨
2) What fleshly sell-out makes itself a temptation in your life? What is in our lives that may not even be a sinful thing, but giving wrong priority, becomes sin for us?
II. SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES 22-24
A) Let¡¦s look at this real life situation in Scripture to give us a spiritual lesson. Esau will represent our flesh and Jacob will represent our spirit.
B) There was a struggle within.
1) Our flesh continually struggles with our spirit. Paul teaches us of this battle in Romans chapter 7. This is one of the hardest passages to follow in ¡§The King¡¦s English.¡¨ Please allow me to read it to you from another version.
4 The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. 15 I don¡¦t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don¡¦t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. 16 I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 But I can¡¦t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.
18 I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can¡¦t make myself do right. I want to, but I can¡¦t. 19 When I want to do good, I don¡¦t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. 20 But if I am doing what I don¡¦t want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it.
21 It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God¡¦s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God¡¦s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.¡XN.L.T.