Day 30: Spilled milk
A LoveSingapore 40.Day prayer and fast devotional, following 2020's theme of In the Long Run – A Journey Through the Book of Hebrews.
LoveSingapore // July 30, 2020, 12:03 am
Bible reading for 40.DAY 2020 | July 30: Hebrews 12:14-17
No chance to repent? How can? It simply means that Esau could not recover his birthright, which he had pawned off to Jacob for a bowl of beans. The sale was final. But this does not necessarily mean that Esau could not repent of his other sins.
There was still time to renounce his immorality, with which he despised his birthright (Genesis 25:34). There was still time to uproot the bitterness in his heart, which caused conflict and defiled many.
There was still time to pursue peace with his brother Jacob, who had intercepted his blessing (Genesis 27:1-29). There was still time to pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. There was still time to repent.
Alas for Esau! He did not seek repentance with tears. He only sought to recover his loses, like a boy crying over spilled milk (Hebrews 12:17).
See to it, says the Preacher, that you do not fail to obtain God’s grace.
To console himself, he vowed to kill his brother. And to spite his parents, he married two Ishmaelite women, in addition to his two Hittite wives (Genesis 26:30; Genesis 27:30-41; Genesis 28:6-9).
Consider the immorality of Esau: he despised his birthright. The indifference of Esau: he sought the blessing more than repentance. The insolence of Esau: he deliberately outraged his aging parents. The error of Esau: seeking charisma without character. The profanity of Esau: all of the above.
There’s a little part of Esau in all of us. See how eagerly we queue up for the blessings of God. But do we earnestly strive to uproot the evil in our hearts? Alas for casual Christianity. Alas for the Esau generation.
There is still time for us to repent. But time is running out. See to it, says the Preacher, that you do not fail to obtain God’s grace. That you do not become immoral like Esau. That no bitterness takes root in your heart.
The choice is yours. See to it! Renounce the profanity of the Esau-generation. Make peace. Pursue holiness. Seek God for tears of repentance, not just regret. There’s no point crying over spilled milk.
• The future is not a bowl of beans. The day of reckoning is here. Do not assume we are any better than Esau. Hear the prognosis of God’s Word: The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be (Jeremiah 17:9-10, The Message). Pray the Word.
• Dear Family, too much is at stake. May we not become like Esau. Let us think back on our history of immoral choices, irrational trade-offs, insolent tantrums. Our outward behaviour reveals the inward state of our heart. Our enslavement to certain patterns of sin are often the symptoms of something far deeper. Is it obsessive self-love? Low self-esteem? Self-hate and self-rejection? Get serious with God. There is hope and healing in Christ our Redeemer. There is still room at the Cross for you. There is still time to repent.
Ask God to dig out all the bitter roots that can destroy you and defile others. Ask him to expose every wicked thing that hardens your heart and sears your conscience. Ask him to save you from presumptuous sins that drag you down the slippery slope of casual Christianity and make you a casualty in the end. Cry: O Lord, do not let the Esau syndrome have dominion over me. Keep me blameless, and innocent of the Esau-transgression (Psalm 19:13).
• Dear Young Ones, God loves you. He has a plan and a future for you. Do not squander it. See to it that you do not become like Esau. What appetites lurk within you? What cravings for instant gratification? Beware. You are extremely vulnerable. You eat, move, sleep in a cyber-world that entices you to live only for the moment and sell your soul for next to nothing. A virtual world that celebrates fornication and unchaste living. In a word, lust.
Beware, uncontrolled lust is one of the most blatant signs of our refusal to honour God (Frederick Buechner). Be cautious about what you see and what you allow your mind to toy with because it’s very easy for it to start toying with you. It’s payday someday. So, draw the line of resistance to train your appetite. Discipline your hungers. That is where it all begins. That will be one of the greatest decisions you have ever made (Ravi Zacharias, adapted).
Today, make that decision. Draw the line. Come clean. Cancel your bowl of beans. Reverse the downward spiral. Today is the day of personal consecration. Turn to Christ for forgiveness and deep cleansing.
Ask God for a holy fear of him that causes you to hate sin and loathe every shade of sexual lure. Determine to flee from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts (2 Timothy 2:22). Be the generation that loves Christ and lives for him with singleness of heart and purpose. Tell Jesus: You are my Pearl of Great Price. You are my best thought by day or by night. You are my true inheritance now and always.