Instantaneous Gratification - A Bowl of Beef Stew

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We all love instantaneous gratification, don’t we? We like things right now! We are a society that can access information in an instant! We can place an order on Amazon right from the comfort of our living room and have it delivered at lightning speed (and it’s only going to get faster)!

I get it! I am a huge Amazon fan for that very reason! It is awesome when you need something fast and can get it!

But is instantaneous gratification always a good thing? No, not always!

Instantaneous Gratification - A Bowl of Beef StewThis page/post may contain affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, as well as an affiliate of other programs, this means if you purchase something using these links, I will receive a commission on qualifying purchases.  I may also have been compensated for linking to certain products in this post.  For more detailed information, please visit our Affiliate Disclaimer page

 

Biblical Example of Instantaneous Gratification

The Bible gives us a textbook example of the dangers of instantaneous gratification. It can be found in the story of our old friend Jacob and his brother, Esau.

Jacob and Esau

Jacob and Esau were brothers, the sons of Issac and Rebekah. They were twins and had been literally fighting each other since the womb!

“And the children struggled together within her; she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord.

And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; the one people shall be stronger than the other people; the elder shall serve the younger.” Genesis 25:22-23 KJV

The Bible tells us that Esau was a very skilled hunterInstantaneous Gratification - Are You Just Settling? 2 and a man of the field and Jacob, well Genesis 25: 27 tells us

“…Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.” KJV

One day, Esau comes back from a huntingInstantaneous Gratification - Are You Just Settling? 4 trip and he is tired and hungry! He spots some stew that Jacob had made and he asks for a bowl.  Genesis 25:30:

“And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint…”

Some translations use the words exhausted, famished. The Hebrew word for “faint” is ‘ayeph and the meaning is faint or weary. Basically, he was tired. I find it funny that he did not mention hungry. He merely said he was tired but one could assume he was tired and run down from hunger since he sought food.

So Jacob, being the loving brother he is (insert sarcasm here…) says in Genesis 25:31:

“Sell me this day thy birthright.”

 


Instantaneous Gratification in a Bowl of Stew

Seems a steep price to pay for a bowlInstantaneous Gratification - Are You Just Settling? 6 of stew, doesn’t it? A birthright for one meal?

But rather than Esau telling his brother to go pound sandInstantaneous Gratification - Are You Just Settling? 8 and running in to see Mom for a sandwichInstantaneous Gratification - Are You Just Settling? 10, Esau says, in Genesis 25:32:

“Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?” KJV

Now, I am guessing here that Esau was being a bit melodramatic. He was probably not at the point of death at all. Oh, it may have felt that way! I have been pretty hangryInstantaneous Gratification - Are You Just Settling? 12 before and it can definitely feel that way! But recall, when he asked for the stew he didn’t even mention hunger. He didn’t say he was starving to death. He merely said he was tired. Now all of a sudden he is at death’s door.

So he sells his birthright for a bowl of stew.

 



The BibleInstantaneous Gratification - Are You Just Settling? 14 tells us then that Esau despised his birthright. The Hebrew word used here is bazah and means to hold in contempt, to be worthless. He saw everything his birthright afforded him now and in the future, worthless because of momentary hunger.

He sold his birthright for instantaneous gratification.


Giving Up Too Soon

How many times do we FEEL like we are just going to die if we don’t get what we want?

As I said, Esau wasn’t starving to death. He probably just FELT that way. But feelings lie! The enemy uses feelings to get us to move away from God’s will in our situation.

Esau was willing to give up everything just for a bowlInstantaneous Gratification - Are You Just Settling? 16 of stew. He allowed his physical discomfort to distort his sense of need. He allowed his flesh to make a decision that would alter his life. At that moment, he felt like all the blessings in the world would be useless if he were dead.

What are we willing to give up to meet our immediate need? What do we sacrifice in order to fulfill the NOW?

How do we allow fear to override faith in our circumstances?

I have done it. We all have done it at one time or another.


The Dangers of Instantaneous Gratification

The problem with instantaneous gratification is it often comes with regret. Once we get what we wanted we soon realize the extent of what we gave up to get it. We realize we settled in many cases. It could be what we gave up was something of great value or it could be that we gave up our peace.

Esau, I am sure, likely ate his stew and, as soon as his need was met, he realized just what he gave up to get it and it paled in comparison. He probably lived with that regret for quite some time.

Regret seems a steep price to pay to satisfy our flesh in the moment.

If we receive instantaneous gratification often enough, we can easily lose the willingness to wait on God and for what He has for us. We lose the ability to manage expectations because we want what we want when we want it.

We become driven by our flesh and its wants, rather than by the Spirit. In essence, we remove God from the situation.


Rather than praying about something and seeking God’s will in the situation, we make the decision in a moment based on the lusts of the flesh.

What blessings of God are we robbing ourselves of, what blessings are we giving up, by settling for stew?

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 KJV

 

Some other posts like Instantaneous Gratification you might enjoy:

DON’T DESPISE SMALL BEGINNINGS

ASKING GOD FOR THE LITTLE THINGS

FICKLE FEELINGS – JESUS PAID IT ALL

A LESSON FROM A CUP OF COFFEE – UNMET EXPECTATIONS

COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS

 


 

Instantaneous Gratification - Are You Just Settling? 18

My name is Diane and I am a wife and mom, a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus) and yes, a blogger. I live in BEAUTIFUL Northwestern Connecticut and when I am not blogging, you will find me spending time with my husband and kiddos…or up in my craft room designing custom tumblers, making reading pillows or quilting! I am also an avid amateur genealogist and love researching my family history!

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