So Esau despised his birthright.
1 John 2.15
Do not love the world or anything in the world.
Esau sins by giving up something of eternal significance for temporal satisfaction. Jacob sins by resorting to deceit and theft to gain what had already been promised by God. They each despised God’s providence and acted faithlessly in their own way. May God have mercy on us when we fall in their same steps.
Reflection: Distrust of God and Fraud :: Throwback Thursday
By Richard Baxter
Cure covetousness, and you will kill the root of fraud and theft.
As a drunkard would easily be cured of his drunkenness, if you could cure him of his thirst and love to drink; so an extortioner, thief, or deceiver, would easily be cured of their outward sin, if their hearts were cured of the disease of worldliness. The love of money is the root of all this evil. Value these things no more than they deserve.
To this end, acquaint your hearts with the greater riches of the life to come; and then you will meet with true satisfaction. The true hopes of heaven will cure your greedy desires of earth.
You dare not then forfeit your part in that perpetual blessedness, for the temporal supply of some bodily want: you dare not, with Adam, part with Paradise for a forbidden bite; nor as Esau profanely sell your birthright for a morsel.
It is the unbelief and contempt of heaven, which make men risk it for the poor commodities of this world.
Be content to stand to God’s disposal; and do not allow discontented thoughts to feed upon your hearts. When your minds run all day long upon your necessities, the devil tempts you to think of unlawful courses to supply them.
He will show you your neighbour’s money, or goods, or estates, and tell you how well it would be with you if this were yours. He showed Achan the golden wedge; he told Gehazi how unreasonable it was that Naaman’s money and raiment should be refused: he told Balaam of the hopes of preferment which he might have with Balak; he told Judas how to get his thirty pieces; he persuaded Ananias and Sapphira, that it was but reasonable to retain part of that which was their own.
If you accepted God as your God, you would accept him as the one that is fitter to measure out your part of earthly things than you yourselves. Then you would rest in his wisdom, will, and fatherly providence; and not shift for yourselves by sinful means.
Discontentedness of mind, and distrust of God, are the cause of all such fraud. Trust God and you will have no need of these.
Prayer: The Request for Presence
For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him. — Psalm 62.6
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Prayers from The Divine Hours available online and in print.
Genesis 25 (Listen – 4:18)
Matthew 24 (Listen – 5:59)
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Read more about Meditation in Spiritual Rhythm :: Throwback Thursday
Nor should we imagine it will be as well to take up with prayer alone, and lay aside meditation…We need the one as well as the other…and our speaking to ourselves in meditation, should go before our speaking to God in prayer. — Richard Baxter
Read more about Lament the Effects of Hard-Heartedness :: Throwback Thursday
Take notice of the doleful effects of hard-heartedness in the world. This fills the world with wickedness and confusion, with wars and bloodshed; and leaves it under that lamentable desertion and delusion, which we see in majority of the earth. — Richard Baxter