Monday, March 20, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: The Story of Esau--Two Points for Teens to Ponder

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Just because the gospel is "Good News" doesn't mean it doesn't warn us against sin. Hebrews is the only book in the New Testament that is permeated with special Good News of our Savior as the Lamb of God, as the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, as our faithful High Priest.

In Hebrews our attention is focused on the love of Christ who "tasted death [the second] for everyone" (2:9). With the "shedding" of His blood is "remission" of sin (9:22). The sacrifice of the Son of God is infinite. However, the word "love" or agape is nowhere in Hebrews, but, by the drama of massive understatement, His blood-sacrifice on His cross permeates Hebrews as the eloquent revelation of the love (agape) of Christ.

Suppose Christ's brilliant light shines on someone's pathway, only to be ridiculed and forsaken: the rejecter brings on himself the abhorrent judgment not only of God--but of the universe of God (hence, the dire warnings in Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-29).

There is one more: 12:14-17, the story of Esau. He "fell short of the grace of God." A "root of bitterness" sprang up in his young heart; he became "defiled." Like too many teens, he steeled his heart against the solemn worship of God, resented Isaac's and Rebekah's calls to family worship, hated Sabbath study, chose to be worldly in spirit, "profane," rebellious.

But all this while he still "had" the glorious "birthright"--given him when he was born. God Himself could not wrest it from him. Jacob marveled that his brother could be so nonchalant, so irreverent, so lacking in appreciation for the trust that was given him. And then the time came when he "sold" that precious birthright--all for some momentary gratification.

Teens can ponder two outstanding points:

(1) They have the birthright as surely as Esau had it; Christ's sacrifice has bestowed upon them a "judicial ... verdict of acquittal" (Rom. 5:15-18, New English Bible). For teenage folly they are forgiven just like those who crucified Christ the first time (Luke 23:34).

(2) Indulge our natural born "enmity against God" (we all have it; Rom. 8:7), we are still forgiven. But choose to despise, to "sell" that forgiveness in exchange for sinful indulgence--think about Esau. He cried buckets of tears--and never found a way back.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 22, 2003.
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