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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Keeping Spirituality Alive SEPTEMBER 27


See to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; . . . that no one be immoral or irreligious like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. Heb.12: 15, 16, R.S.V.

Once upon a time there lived a man named Isaac. At the age of 60 he became the father of twin boys, Esau and Jacob. Esau became a skillful hunter, the athletic type. Jacob became a man of more peaceful pursuits. One day Esau came home ravenously hungry. When he saw his brother with a tasty stew, probably made of lentils, rice, onions, and meat, he said, "Jacob, give me some. I'm starving."

Jacob saw a chance to bargain and returned, "First sell me your birthright." This was asking a lot. To be the first-born in the family meant the right of succession, prime authority in the household and in the community, an inheritance of all the official positions from his father, to say nothing of the major portion of the family estate.

Esau lived for the moment. He told himself he needed bread more than the inheritance. So he let it go. The Bible calls him a profane person, that is, a man given to the secular and the temporary. There is no record that he was an evil or a dishonest man. The record of his life agrees with his foolish judgment. He married Canaanite women. He lived from hand to mouth. His children became a tribe of nomads. But Jacob's children became the people of promise.

God does not condemn men who surround themselves with a beautiful house and garden, attractive furniture, and a new car. God has praise for all that is beautiful and attractive; but if then are too much concerned with temporal values, if all that men have are externals, they have nothing but chaff. Go into the wheat field at harvesttime; rub the ear of wheat for the grain. You will find twice as much chaff as wheat. That is the way it is. If there has been a bad drought it is more than likely there is nothing but chaff.

Men without a shrine to God in their hearts have nothing but chaff. Happiness involves freedom to love people, freedom from the slavery of sin, freedom to live at one's best, to realize one's potential under God.

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