Quick and easy route = shortcut

By Dave Henning / November 19, 2023

“Can we agree that all of us at times have chosen the quick and easy route?  That sin, at its root, is the unwillingness to wait?  To trust?  To follow God’s plan?  We take matters into our own hands.  That’s what Jacob did.”- Max Lucado

“Esau said, ‘I’m starving!  What good is a birthright if I’m dead?’  Jacob said, ‘First, swear to me.’  And he did.  On oath Esau traded away his birthright as firstborn.  Jacob gave him bread and the stew of lentils.  He ate and drank, got up and left.  That’s how Esau shrugged off his rights as the firstborn.”- Genesis 25:31-34 (MSG)

In Chapter 2 (“From Prince to Palooka”) of God Never Gives Up on You, Max Lucado tells the story of an unwise shortcut he took in 1973.  To make long distance calls from his college dorm, Max needed to use a pay phone.  Because his lady interest went to a college six hours away.

However, Max lacked the quarters to pay for those calls.  Hence, he found a way to charge those calls to a vacuum store number he got from the phone book.  Eventually, the dorm director paid Max a visit.  Max, in turn, paid a visit to the office of the dean.  Finally, Max wrote an apology to the store owner and a check to the phone company.

So when Esau spotted the stew Jacob had prepared, he weighed his options.  As a hunter, Esau possessed survival skills.  Therefore, he wouldn’t have died. Yet, he shrugged off his firstborn rights.  Most significantly, Pastor Lucado notes, the verb translated “shrugged off” connotes carelessness or contempt.  In other words, “despising something as useless.”  Thus, Esau viewed his birthright as an intangible object – out there somewhere.  But the pot of stew sat right in front of him.

In conclusion, Pastor Lucado observes:

“Esau took a shortcut.  And Jacob?  We cannot let the baby brother off too easily.  Is this the way God’s heroes behave?  Conniving?  Coercing? . . .  Did God’s plan need Jacob’s nudge?  Of course not. He could have waited for God to act.  He should have waited.  But Rebekah and Jacob took a shortcut.”

Today’s question: What tempts you to take the quick and easy route?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the November Short Meditation, “Accept your acceptance”

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Dave Henning

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