Returning home later that evening, he was suddenly captured by the smell of food cooking on a campfire. Weak from hunger from the day’s exertions, he was drawn to the scent like a moth to a flame. Arriving at the source, he found his twin brother slowly stirring a pot of stew. How strange. It was almost as if his brother was expecting him for dinner.
Famished, he cried out, “Brother, I am starving! Please give me something to eat.” With his eyes fixed on the pot he continued to slowly stir, Jacob said, “All you can eat in exchange for your birthright.” At that moment, his birthright was the last thing on Esau’s mind. The future mattered not. Only the immediate gratification of his flesh.
So Esau agreed to the deal and sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. Finishing the dinner he wiped his mouth on his sleeve, stood and walked away, not realizing the enormity of what had just transpired. This incident in the life of Esau is a solemn reminder of how much can be thrown away in a moment of weakness, never again to be recovered.
Whether it’s Esau selling his birthright to Jacob, Samson telling his secret to Delilah, David committing adultery with Bathsheba, or Peter denying Christ, the common denominator in each scenario is an unguarded moment of weakness.
Weak moments are sure to come because we are human. Furthermore, the enemy is aware of our weaknesses and is sure to aim his arrows of temptation at those well known targets. Jacob didn’t ask Esau to sell his birthright after he had just eaten a full meal. He waited until he was weak with hunger. Esau’s weakness was Jacob’s opportunity, and it worked! Being aware of this strategy of the enemy can help us to always be on our guard.
Avoiding situations or relationships that have the potential of rendering us spiritually weak is another good battle plan. Just as Superman avoided kryptonite, we can avoid the things that amplify our weakness and diminish our righteous resolutions.
The best defense of all is to stay close to Jesus who, though tempted in His moment of physical weakness, overcame and did not sin. Come to think of it, one of the first songs I sang in church as a young boy included this line, “We are weak, but He is strong.”
Lean on Jesus every moment of every day. Depend on His all-sufficient grace to see you through and you will be able to testify with Paul, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Pastor Todd Weston