April 21, 2011
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the Grace of God. . .lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled. . .lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected—for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
Even though Christ’s Blood cleanses us from the guilt of sin (Rom. 5:6-11) and His Death frees us from “the curse of the Law” (Gal. 3:13), the aftereffects of those sins may last for a lifetime.
Today’s Manna is one of those painful portions that causes us to wince in pain even though it speaks of someone else’s sin and its wages. Yet, in reality, we know we’re all like Esau—for who of us has not made bad choices at times and no amount of pleading, weeping, regretting, etc., could undo what was done?
We know well the story of Esau:
He was the firstborn son of Isaac and Rebekah and twin brother to Jacob (Gen. 25:19-25). His name means “hairy” and his surname, Edom, which means “red,” was given to him because of his ruddy appearance of hair color at birth and because of the color of the pottage he craved from Jacob (vv.25, 30). From him also came the Edomites, who became enemies of the Israelites.
But, the thing we remember most—and which is cited in our Manna—is his selling his birthday for some bread and a bowl of beans (v.34). And, in that passage it said “And Esau despised (Heb. ‘bazah’—‘disdained, to hope in contempt, to scorn, disesteem, etc.’) his birthright.” This means little until we realize the birthright afforded special immunities and privileges to the firstborn son, including headship of the family, possession of the great bulk of the family’s possessions and God’s covenant blessing (Gen. 27:28-29, 36).
Yet, Esau proved to be as “profane as a fornicator (Grk. ‘pornos’—‘male prostitute, whoremonger, one who engages in debauchery, etc.’)” because of his casual disregard of what should have been supremely important to him.
And, dear Pilgrim, aren’t we also guilty of the same in one way or the other?
Most assuredly we are.
How casually and callously we handle the things of God. How lightly we treat the Word of God and how often we, too, trod underfoot the precious Blood of Jesus by the things we say and do. No wonder we need Grace and Mercy! Apart from them we have no hope!
That’s why it’s important that we handle with great care the privileges and blessings the Heavenly Father gives us each day. Likewise, when we realize God’s most precious Treasure deposited in our heart at the new birth is Jesus Himself (II Cor. 4:7), then we can ill-afford to take Him for granted by living carnal lives that bring shame to His Name. Sin is always a chasing of the wind; but, true surrender is always a yielding to the Savior. Only then can we avoid the empty vanity that accompanies wrong choices. Help us, O Lord, to seek You.