What would you trade?

Read Genesis 25-36. (NLT) Esau

Common sense isn't all that common. In fact, the common thread in many decisions is that they don't make sense. Esau's life was filled with choices he must have regretted bitterly. He appears to have been a person who found it hard to consider consequences, reacting to the need of the moment without realizing what he was giving up to meet that need. Trading his birthright for a bowl of stew was the clearest example of this weakness. He also chose wives in direct opposition to his people's wishes. He learned the hard way.

What are you willing to trade for the things you want? Do you find yourself at times, willing to negotiate anything for what you feel you need now? Does your family, spouse, integrity, body, or soul get included in these deals? Do you sometimes feel that the important parts of life escaped while you were grabbing for something else?

If so, your initial response, like Esau's, may be deep anger. In itself that isn't wrong, as long as you direct the energy of that anger toward a solution and not toward yourself or others as the cause of the problem. Your greatest need is to find a focal point other than "What I need now." The only worthy focal point is God. A relationship with Him will not only give an ultimate purpose to your life; it will also be a daily guideline for living. Meet him in the pages of the Bible.

Esau's strengths and accomplishments: 1) Ancestor of the Edomites 2) Known for his archery skill 3) Able to forgive after explosive anger

His weaknesses and mistakes: 1) When faced with important decisions, tended to choose according to the immediate need rather than the long-range effect 2) Angered his parents by poor marriage choices

Lessons from his life: 1) God allows certain events in our lives to accomplish his overall purposes, but we are still responsible for our actions 2) Consequences are important to consider 3) It is possible to have great anger and yet not sin.

Vital Statistics: Where: Canaan Occupation: Skillful hunter Relatives: Parents: Isaac and Rebekah. Brother: Jacob. Wives: Judith, Basemath, and Mahalath

Key verses: "Try to live in peace with everyone, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you will miss out on the special favor of God. Watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison. Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau. he traded his birthright as the oldest son for a single meal. And afterward, when he wanted his father's blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he wept bitter tears." (Hebrews 12: 14-17) (NLT)

Heavenly Father, help us to be patient and to look at the long range effect of our choices in life. Good things come to those who wait upon the Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.

Contact: firstumcgulfport@gmail.com

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