How would you end this sentence?
Donna Louise Greenwell has pleaded guilty to trading two children to a couple in exchange for an exotic pet bird and $195. The four and five-year-olds were left in Donna’s care by her biological parents and she decided to sell them for a cockatoo and some cash. It’s a crazy, mixed up world we live in. Imagine swapping something as valuable as children for a bird and some bucks. Inconceivable! Although this story does remind me of another strange swap.
Back in Genesis 25, Esau sold something incredibly valuable for something incredibly lame. Esau was the firstborn son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. Esau stood in line to be the next great father figure for God’s people. He was to inherit all the blessing that God had first promised Abraham; land, riches, and reputation. Esau had a blessed future guaranteed, but he swapped it all for, wait for it… for some stew.
I don’t care how hungry he was or how good the stew tasted, this is a ridiculous swap!
Sadly, many young Christians today do a similar swap to both Donna and Esau. As Christians, we are children of God with a wonderful inheritance awaiting us, full of life and blessing and joy. This future is ours because of what Jesus did for us when he died for us on the cross.
But so many young Christians swap this enormous eternal blessing for more immediate, short-term pleasures. Christians swap their faith in God in order to be popular, be famous, get rich, do drugs, get drunk, sleep around and generally do what they want to do when they want to do it.
Now, at one level, I get the attraction. But, really, it’s like swapping children for a cockatoo or swapping enormous blessings for stew. Why give up an eternity with God in heaven for a few moments of pleasure on earth? And in the end, God’s ways are best anyway, so when you think you are missing out on the fun, you’re not really.
So if you’re ever tempted to give up on God and swap Him for the “fun” of this world, think again. Remember Donna. Remember Esau. Remember Jesus. Remember you have a blessed future guaranteed. And never forget the gospel.
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death, to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.” Colossians 1:21-23a