Cain let jealousy rule his actions and the exchange was the life of his brother. Esau took a bowl of beans in exchange for his: Hebrews 12:14-17 Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears. Samson is more known for exchanging his eyesight and eventually his life for the woman Delilah than for being a good judge over Israel for twenty years.
King Saul had been chosen and anointed by God, he had walked with the prophets and himself prophesied, yet he gave up his life for jealousy of the Psalmist, the future King, David.
We are given many examples of this type of exchange in the Word. Why do you think those examples are there? It is to teach us what we need to do by reading examples from people who should have known better, what not to do, and yet it seems, to me, that we continue to rush headlong into situations that could ruin our life. Why? Maybe we think we could be the exception, not get hurt, or not get caught, and we act like teenagers who seem to have no sense of their own mortality! We go at high speeds toward danger and when the tragic end comes we wonder, “Why did God let this happen to me!”
Something that happened to me when I was four years old comes to mind here, I remember my mother was ironing and I stood and watched the iron going back and forth across the material, steam was rising and it intrigued me. I kept putting my hand under the iron, as mother would bring it down, she warned me not to do it or I would get burned, but did that stop me? No, what did stop me was getting my knuckles grazed by that hot iron because I put my hand under it at the wrong time, it burned me and only then, with my little fingers wrapped in ice did I lose interest in the steamy heat of that iron! Why did I have to be burned rather than listening to my authority?
We push ourselves to the very edge of danger and then are surprised when we fall over the side. When my son was first driving on his own, I would warn him to be cautious, he would assure me that he always was and wondered why I worried, I would tell him “That’s why they call them accidents, you don’t do it on purpose!”
We slip-slide along and think that everything will continue as it always has, until one day it is too late to bring it back!
2 Peter 3:4 First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday. Reducing everything to the level of their puny feelings, they’ll mock, “So what’s happened to the promise of his Coming? Our ancestors are dead and buried, and everything’s going on just as it has from the first day of creation. Nothing’s changed.”
I don’t want to be caught not looking, giving my soul to the devil in exchange for a momentary sweet that turns bitter in my stomach. I want to be found doing His work, giving my best effort. Is it easy?
Matthew 7:13-14“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God! —Is vigorous and requires total attention.
Now when you are faced with a compromising situation just say “I am not for sale”!