Today's Manna

January 16, 2017
The Lure of Lentil Stew
by Huan Huang
Scripture Reading: Genesis 25

In Genesis 25:29-34, we read about Esau, who had just returned from hunting. Hungry and exhausted, he sold his birthright, or the privilege of being the firstborn son, for a bowl of lentil stew.

The lure of lentil stew is all around us. There are many things in this world that give us temporary satisfaction: food, money, possessions, pleasures of this life, success, hobbies, etc. When these things start to draw us away from seeking and walking with God, they become our bowls of lentil stew.

How do we resist the lure of lentil stew? Our Lord Jesus set a great example for us. After fasting for forty days, He was hungry, but He didn't give in when tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread. He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus refused the temporary satisfaction of bread because of His desire to please His Father in Heaven.

While being crucified, our Savior endured the shame and agony of the cross because of His eternal perspective. Hebrews 12:2 says, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). Jesus in us can help us defeat the lure of the lentil stew, because "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

As born again Christians, what is our birthright? Romans 8:16-17 reads, "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." Peter (1Pe 1:4) reminds us that our inheritance from God is incorruptible, undefiled, does not fade away, reserved in heaven for us. The believer's birthright is the privilege we have of being children of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ for all eternity.

Time and time again we will face the same decision Esau faced - despise our birthright for temporary satisfaction or endure the hardship. Let us walk away from our bowls of lentil stew, for no matter how enticing they seem, they cannot begin to measure up to the blessings and eternal rewards God wants us to have.

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