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Graves of Craving

grave-1392719_1920(James 1:14 – But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.)

The world is full of enticements.  They appeal to our desires for possessions, power, pride and love.  Much like a seductress, who attempts to lure someone away from the one to whom they rightfully belong, they entice with the promise of something better.  “Slithering through the centuries, the serpent whispers his smooth-tongued promises, beguiling, deceiving and tempting,” urging us to trade the blessings of God for the satisfying of our flesh. (Life Application Study Bible).  I Corinthians 10:13 tells us, “No temptation has overtaken you except as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  Temptations are common to man.  We have all been tempted at one time or another, in one way or another.  But, each time, if we are honest, we heard the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit providing us the way of escape and enabling us to withstand it.   Along with the temptation, God provides the way of escape for us through the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit in us.  What we stand to gain and all we stand to lose hangs in the balance of our choice.

Someone once said, “The anticipation of a thing is always better than the realization of it.”  Esau found this truth out the hard way, when he traded his birthright blessing for the immediate gratification of his flesh.  He traded short-term satisfaction for long-term consequences.  In doing this, scripture says he, “despised his birthright blessing.”  (Gen. 25:34).  Esau’s flesh was hungry, but his temporary satisfaction of the savory stew proved to be better than the long-term consequences of it.  Esau’s temptation is used in Hebrews 12:16, to serve as a warning to us of yielding to the temptations of the flesh, cautioning,  “Lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.  For you understand that later on, when he wanted to (regain title to) his inheritance of the blessing, he was rejected (disqualified and set aside), for he could find no opportunity to repair by repentance (what he had done) – that is, no chance to recall the choice he had made – although he sought for it carefully with (bitter) tears.”  In summary it cautions,  “See to it that you do not reject Him or refuse to listen to and heed Him who is speaking (to you now).  For if they (the Israelites) did not escape when they refused to listen and heed Him who warned and divinely instructed them (here) on earth – revealing with heavenly warnings His will – how much less shall we escape if we reject and turn our backs on Him who cautions and admonishes (us) from heaven?”  The word profane means, “disrespectful or contemptuous of sacred things.”  Esau traded the promised birthright blessing of God, which was holy, for the carnal satisfaction of his flesh.  In doing so, he showed disrespect and contempt toward the birthright blessing of God to him.  We do no less when we yield to the unholy temptations of our flesh.

Even though God, in his grace, will forgive our choices to our flesh,  the consequences of our choices, like Esau’s, are irreversible.  Esau cried out, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”  His father answered, “What shall I do now for you my son?”  In other words he was saying, “This thing has now happened as a result of  your choice and that cannot be changed.”  Our choices to our flesh alter God’s intended blessings for us in life.  In his mercy, he will still bless us, just as he did Esau, but it will be a “lesser” blessing than we might have had.  During the Exodus journey, the Israelites passed through a valley called Kibroth Hataavah, where scripture says they, “yielded to intense cravings.”  They weren’t satisfied with the provision of God’s hand and complained against the Lord.  They rejected the manna (bread of heaven) that God had provided for them, desiring the meat of Egypt instead.  Psalm 106:15 says, “So he gave them what they asked for, but sent leanness to their soul.”  Kibroth Hattaavah means, “graves of craving,” because “there the people were buried who had craved other food.”  The expression “digging our own graves” comes to mind!  This is what we do when we yield to the intense cravings of the flesh (meat of Egypt) over the provision of the Bread of Heaven.   The enticements of the flesh never satisfy like we think they will.   We only dig our own graves by yielding to them.

(What will you trade your blessings for, what aroma beckons you?  What temptation will prove to be your morsel of savory stew?  Do not be deceived like Esau, who to feed his flesh one day, traded his birthright blessing, then went about his way.  For consequences did follow, though his choice he did regret.  For to the one he traded, he now became in debt.  And though he came to realize the error of his ways, the debt to consequences owed still were his to pay.  So learn from Esau’s lesson, when temptation smells so sweet.  Though your flesh may hunger, it’s better not to eat!)



I didn’t mean for it to happen
Never wanted for it to
but the more time that I spent with him
the less I spent with you
He offered me the pleasure
of all my eyes could see
and though I often thought of you
I more often thought of me
I knew where this was leading
and that I would have to choose
between what there was to gain
and all I stood to lose
I so wanted to be faithful
but each day he would arrive
tempting me away from you
to follow by his side
There was always something exciting
he beckoned me to do
And every little something
led me away from you
Looking back I see the little things
that led my heart astray
And now I know that little things
grow bigger every day
Until suddenly there’s a distance
there within the heart
Like a great and empty gulf
that’s keeping us apart
And every day I realize
that I will have to choose
between all there is to gain
and all I stand to lose

(Matthew26:41 – Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.) 

































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