One of Satan’s deadliest methods is convincing a person to be shortsighted. He dangles the “passing pleasures of sin” before us and convinces us to choose what feels good now at the expense of the pain to come later (Heb. 11:25). Esau fell into this trap. Genesis 25 records the occasion on which Esau begged Jacob for a bowl of stew. Jacob was willing but he drove a hard bargain. The price was Esau’s birthright, which he willingly paid–a decision which he would greatly regret (Gen. 25:29-34).
In ancient times, the birthright was a blessing given to the first born. It included a double inheritance and headship of the family after the father’s death. Scripture says that Esau “despised” his birthright which means he thought of it as worthless. He struck the bargain with his brother, partook of the stew, and went on his way as if nothing remarkable had taken place. No wonder the Hebrews writer refers to him as “profane,” or, godless (Heb. 12:16). Jacob may have been ruthless, but Esau was reckless. He made a shortsighted decision which plagued him in the future (Heb. 12:17).
The Devil would love for each of us to be like Esau. The world is full of sinful pleasures that satisfy our lusts, but at what cost? Ask the person who is carried away by the heat of the moment which results in pregnancy or an STD. Consider the one who drinks alcohol at a party and finds themselves in jail the next morning because of a DWI. How many tragic stories of a person choosing to have a sex change operation in youth and growing to regret it later in life exist in our world? Satan succeeds whenever he convinces us to focus only on right now. Therefore, we must be spiritually far-sighted, always with eternity in view (Heb. 12:1-3).