Not too long ago, I suffered from an eye infection. Not only did it hurt, but I looked like a demon had taken over half of my face! The visit to the eye doctor was unpleasant, but I knew that the symptoms were temporary. At the same time, I struggled with other vision issues. I had a hard time seeing things in the distance, and I had to hold things close to my face to be able to read them. I just couldn’t see clearly which was very frustrating.
This reminded of the story of Jacob and Esau: twin boys, born to Rebekah, who had distinctly different temperaments. One of those boys suffered from a moment of short-sightedness and it affected his life forever.
Genesis 25: 27-34 As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”) 31 “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.” 32 “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now? But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn. (NLT)
Esau’s actions are short-sighted. He forgets about his long-term promise in the face of an immediate, temporary need.
Factors in Esau’s Decision
Esau was more impulsive and impatient than Jacob, who was more quiet and thoughtful. We need to be aware of our blind spots. The devil can use these against us, in a moment of weakness.
Esau had been out hunting. He was tired and hungry. This made him more vulnerable to attack. When we let ourselves get to the point of exhaustion, we become easy prey to the enemy. We need to maintain our health and strength so that we can ward off any attack.
Esau’s focus was on his temporary situation. He did not stop to consider the long-term impact. When we are not healthy and only focus on the current situation, our view of reality is out of focus. We begin to exaggerate, making things bigger than they are. We need to refocus on what is important, gaining control of our spiritual lives and physical bodies.
Esau’s short-sightedness caused him to become impatient. He couldn’t see down the road of his life. We tend to do the same thing. We feel pressured and don’t make clear decisions. In that moment, we need to stop, take a breath, and clear our vision.
Esau lost sight of the BIG PICTURE
When we have a shortsighted view on things we lose sight of the big picture. We now want to tell Esau: “Don’t do it!!!” because we see the consequences (Esau is not spoken off much anymore after that) When do we lose sight of the big picture in life, because of something temporary? Some instant gratification? Esau’s heritage until this day: the guy who sold it all for a pot of stew.
What does this mean for us?
Luke 11:34 Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. (NLT)
We need to learn to trust our unknown future to a known God.
It’s not good enough to just have the light (Jesus) around us, marginally shining on us. We need to have the light IN us. Then we see correctly. Even if we can’t see the entire journey clearly ahead of us, we know that we are designed to walk by faith.
Take it one step at a time.
For His kingdom,
Pastor David Wildman