Good Food and a Happy New Year!

By: O. Palmer Robertson | Date: January 12, 2021

Got your favorite food? Plan on indulging in the new year?

All God’s gifts are to be received from God with thanks. But the lust of the flesh lurks around the corner.

Isaac was a quiet man. He did nothing spectacular. He re-dug the wells his father had dug. He had only one wife, Beautiful Rebecca. He had no concubines. But he loved his food.

Isaac had only two sons. Twins. Esau the older and Jacob the younger.

In his old age Isaac lost his sight. Cataracts blurred his vision, and no surgeons existed in that day to correct the problem by removing the blurring cataract and replacing it with a well – focused substitute.

Isaac knew he was approaching death. The craving of his flesh led him to a strong desire for his favorite food.

So he called his oldest son Esau, who was a hunter by instinct. Esau also loved his food. In fact, he had already sold his inheritance to his younger brother Jacob for nothing more than a bowl of hot soup.

Esau was a great cook. He could prepare a deer stew that could not be resisted. Isaac craved that stew. His flesh yearned for a bowl of that good soup.

“Go get me some of that good stew, and I will give you my last blessing,” he said to his older son Esau (Gen. 27:2-4). So off he went hunting.

But Isaac’s wife Rebecca strongly favored their younger son Jacob. Jacob was not a rough and ready hunter like his twin brother Esau. He was a quiet man like his father. He stayed at home with his mother.

Rebecca had strong ambitions for her favored son Jacob. She had desires of the flesh for him. She was also a good cook. She prepared a delicious stew, possibly using the same recipe she had taught her son Esau.

Esau was a slave to his passion for good food. Isaac his father also had a passion for good food. And Rebecca and her son Jacob had their passion of ambition.

To what are you enslaved? You do not have to be obese to be enslaved to your taste for good food. Ambition may enslave you, as it did Rebecca and her son Jacob. Because of their passion for position, priority, prominence, and success, they were willing to violate every law in the book. They schemed. They made a ridiculous pretense to fool their old, blind husband and father. They took false oaths in the name of God. They stole the inheritance of their son and brother.

What are you willing to do to fulfill your passion? Just for good food? Or a smart automobile? A fabulous house? An honored reputation? An immoral relationship? The lust of the flesh comes in many forms. One kind of sinful passion is not more noble than another.

Esau convulsed in horror when he realized that his passion for food led to a great mistake. He wept when he realized that he had bartered away his blessing. He wept again when he realized his mother and brother had connived to rob him of his blessing as the firstborn son.

Beware of your passions. Beware of all your inordinate desires. Be sure the flesh will find you out.

But there is grace in it all. Esau’s descendants became the nation of Edom. Trace their history from the prophecy of Amos chapter nine. His prophecy about Edom finds its fulfillment in Acts 15. People from Esau’s descendants represent all the various nations of the world. They become members of the Messianic kingdom formed by Jesus the descendent of Jacob.

Whoever you are, however your passions may have messed up your life, claim the blessing that Esau lost because of his passion. Experience for yourself the grace of God’s restoration. Repudiate your ungodly passions. God through Christ will receive all who repent of their sin. Trust the power of the resurrected Christ working in you by his Spirit to free you from the bondage of your passionate desires.

With that thought in mind, have a happy new year. Experience the freedom in Jesus Christ to enjoy during this year all the blessings of God’s creation, even including good food and drink. But be sure you experience the double blessing of enjoyment without the pain of inordinate passion, the lust of the flesh.

O. Palmer Robertson

Dr. Robertson is a teaching elder. He is the author of several books and articles, primarily viewing the scriptures from the perspective of the history of redemption.

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