Blind Passion

Blind Passion

Pastor Don Carpenter

Bible Reading Challenge 2021 / Genesis 25:29–34

A fly was buzzing along one morning when he saw a lawn

mower someone had left out in their front yard. He flew over and sat on the handle, watching the children going down the sidewalk on their way to school.

One little boy tripped on a crack and fell, spilling his lunch on the sidewalk. He picked himself up, put his lunch back in the bag and went on. But he missed a piece of bologna. The fly had not eaten that morning and he sure was hungry. So he flew down and started eating the bologna. In fact he ate so much that he could not fly, so he waddled across the sidewalk, across the lawn, up the wheel of the lawn mower, up the handle, and sat there resting and watching the children.

There was still some bologna laying there on the sidewalk. He was really stuffed, but that baloney sure did look good.

Finally temptation got the best of him and he jumped off the handle of the lawn mower to fly over to the baloney. But alas he was too full to fly and he went splat!!, killing him instantly.

The moral of the story: Don’t fly off the handle when you are full of baloney.

There’s a dark side to us, that’s as reckless as the fly. It does not matter what the costs are, you just got to have it. Humanity is like that, so full of baloney, they can’t see it and they fly off the handle, thinking they can handle it all, and be satisfied only to end up splat.

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The Bible is full of warnings about fleshly lusts… natural desires that seek to be fulfilled outside the boundary of God’ s will.

1 Peter 2:11 KJV

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

1 Corinthians 9:27 KJV

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

1 John 2:16 KJV

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Like that poor fly, we can have have cravings, often physical desires, that attempt to rule our lives. This week during our 2021 Bible Reading Challenge, we read about Esau and how he gave up his inheritance and religious privilege as firstborn son in exchange for red lentil stew. What would lead him to make such a foolish choice? Tonight we are going to learn a very important lesson.

 Succumbing to the seduction of immediate gratification can blind you to the gravity and severity of its long term consequences.

Lust Can Be Triggered.

Genesis 25:29–30 KJV

And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 

And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

 • Sometimes it is triggered by your senses… something in your environment… the smell of cooking

 • It can be triggered by physical need.

 • It can be triggered by physical neglect.

 • It can be triggered by fatigue… Esau had been hunting all day and got nothing

 • It can be triggered as a learned response.

It is possible to identify some of those triggers and avoid them.

Romans 13:14 KJV

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

And he was famished: famished means to be weak and faint from having gone without food for a long while. This idea is sometimes expressed idiomatically; for example, “hunger held him by the throat” or “hunger burned his stomach.”1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Genesis, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1998), 585.

Let me eat some of that red pottage is literally “Let me swallow.…” The narrator is depicting Esau as a greedy glutton. njv expresses the thought well with “Let me gulp down.” In some translations the feeling is expressed by “Give me that red soup of yours. Hurry!” Red pottage is literally “this red, red” (Hebrew ’edom, a word that sounds like “Edom”).1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Genesis, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1998), 586.

Gratification Comes At a Price

Genesis 25:31 KJV

And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

BIRTHRIGHT — a right, privilege, or possession to which a person, especially the firstborn son, was entitled by birth in Bible times. In Israel, as in the rest of the ancient world, the firstborn son enjoyed a favored position. His birthright included a double portion of his father’s assets upon his death (Deut. 21:17). Part of the firstborn’s benefits also were a special blessing from the father (Gen. 27:27) and the privilege of leadership of the family (Gen. 43:33).

The inheritance rights of the firstborn were protected by law, so the father could not give his benefits to a younger son (Deut. 21:15–17). The firstborn himself, however, could lose the birthright. Because he committed incest with his father’s concubine (Gen. 35:22), Reuben lost his favored position (1 Chr. 5:1–2), while Esau sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a stew of lentils (Gen. 25:29–34), or for “one morsel of food” (Heb. 12:16).

Jesus was both the firstborn of his heavenly Father (John 3:16), and his earthly mother, Mary (Luke 2:7); so he enjoyed the rights and privileges of the Jewish birthright. All Christians are His brothers, sharing in His spiritual inheritance (Rom. 8:17). They are counted as “firstborn” by God’s grace (Heb. 12:23).1

1 Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, and R. K. Harrison, Thomas Nelson Publishers, eds., Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1995).

Hebrews 11:25 KJV

Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

 • Lust could have you give up your family

 • Lust could have you give up your marriage

 • Lust could have you give up your job

 • Lust could have you give up your life’s savings

 • Lust could have you give up your health

 • Lust could have you give up your life

James 1:13–15 KJV

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

The severity of the lust masks the severity of the consequences.

Genesis 25:32 KJV

And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

**Canvas Slide**

Esau exaggerates not only his hunger but the imminence of his death as well, unless one understands his hinn?h ??n??î hôl?? l?mû? as an idiom of hyperbole, akin to our “I’m starving to death” or “I’m dying of thirst.” When Esau first spoke about his hunger (v. 30), he used the exact phrase that the narrator had used in the previous verse: narrator (v. 29): “Esau … starving (??s?w … ??y?p?); Esau (v. 30): “I am starving” (??y?p? ??n??î). Here he exaggerates “I am starving” to “I am on the verge of dying.” If he really believes that he is dying, then does he think a bowl of stew can arrest the inevitable? But given the choice of retaining his special status or getting something to eat, he opts for the latter.1

1 Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18–50, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995), 184–185.

Philippians 3:18–19 KJV

(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 

Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Hebrews 12:16–17 KJV

Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 

For ye 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.

The third “lest” clause is v. 16: “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright” (AV). Because the OT has no explicit reference to immoral behavior by Esau, it is hard to know whether “fornicator” is to be understood literally or metaphorically.2 In nonbiblical Jewish literature Esau was accused of being a womanizer and one who not infrequently engaged in immoral trysts with married women (Gen. Rabbah 65:1; Jub. 25:1, 8). More than likely Heb. 12:16 reflects that tradition.

The incident to which the writer of Hebrews clearly alludes illustrates a misplaced sense of values more than it does sexual immorality. To prostitute oneself, as in Esau’s case, means to be bereft of any spiritual values, to put the needs of the immediate moment ahead of any other considerations, to put feeling ahead of conscience, to give away much (“sold his birthright”) and receive back little in return (“for a single meal”). This, says the writer to the Hebrews, is what Esau did, but what those who pursue peace and sanctification will avoid. Note that Heb. 12:16 describes Esau as both pórnos and béb?los (“profane” [AV]; “irreligious” [RSV]; “degrade religion” [JB]; “worldly-minded” [NEB]); “defiled” [Buchanan]; “unclean” [Attridge]). In the LXX béb?los is associated with cultic matters (e.g., Lev. 10:10; Ezek. 4:14; 21:25; 22:26; 44:23). But in the NT it is always an ethical/religious term, applied either to people (1 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 12:16) or to things (1 Tim. 4:7; 6:20; 2 Tim. 2:16)1

1 Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18–50, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995), 188.

Succumbing to immediate gratification of lust shows contempt toward the gifts you already possess.

Genesis 25:33–34 KJV

And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 

Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

The story concludes by expressing a feeling of disdain for Esau: Thus Esau despised his birthright. Despised is used here in the sense of careless indifference or disregard. For Esau the birthright is a worthless object. reb translates “Esau showed by this how little he valued his birthright,” spcl “Esau … left, without attaching any importance to his rights as oldest son.” These and tev are satisfactory translation models.1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Genesis, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1998), 588.

Certainly the profane nature of Esau was a warning for Israel. It is wrong to sacrifice spiritual provisions to satisfy one’s physical appetites. This is a question of priorities. Esau saw only food; and he did whatever was necessary to get what he wanted (cf. Eve and the food on the tree, 3:6).1

1 Allen P. Ross, “Genesis,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 70.

Psalm 106:24 KJV

Yea, they despised the pleasant land, They believed not his word:

Matthew 22:4–5 KJV

Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 

But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

So what does this little story tucked away in Genesis tell us? Physical desires can be triggered into a monstrous lustful desire demanding immediate satisfaction. We must take care not to feed those desires and to avoid making provisions for their existence wherever possible. We have learned that  sinful lust comes at a much higher level of long term pain than the short term pleasure it affords. We have learned that lust can blind us in the heat of the moment so it is wise to avoid the heat of the moment. We have learned that in the end, when we give in to lust, we show great contempt to the important relationships and privileges we already enjoy. We have learned that we must keep our face in the Book, our eyes on Jesus and do what it takes to stay away from Blind Passion.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:17 PM January 13, 2021.

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