See to it … that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. (Heb. 12:15–17)
The original hearers of Hebrews lived in an overwhelmingly pagan society—perhaps not unlike ours, in which promiscuity outpaces modesty nearly everywhere we look. In such a sexually charged setting, it is imperative that God’s people demonstrate how we are both set apart to God and set apart from sin. As the apostle Paul commends, we must “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Cor. 6:18).
We must not sell out to sin. The tradeoff is never worth it, no matter what temptation promises in the moment.
How does Esau fit in? His story serves as a parable of an outsized physical appetite. In the heat of the moment, he exchanged his heritage and home for something cheap. Like him, you can build your life for decades and throw it away in five minutes in a fit of unchecked lust—or rage, pride, or greed, for that matter. We must not sell out to sin. The tradeoff is never worth it, no matter what temptation promises in the moment.
This article was adapted from the sermon “Essentials of Christian Maturity”by Alistair Begg.