God is Powerful Enough to Forgive Even You

I have heard many people say, “I could never make heaven my home because of the terrible life I have lived. I have done so many bad and sinful things in my life, God would never forgive me of my sins.” The individuals that make this claim have not studied God’s word enough. Some of the leading characters in the Bible engaged in some very sinful activites.

Abraham was chosen by God to be the father of a great nation and bless all the families of the earth in him. In Genesis 12:12-13 Abraham went down into Egypt. He was afraid Pharaoh would kill him to get his beautiful wife Sarah, so he said Sarah was his sister. He lied. We also see in Genesis 20:1-2 that Abraham went to Gerar where there was a king named Abimelech. Abraham again feared for his life and told King Abimelech that Sarah was his sister. He had a habit of not telling the truth.

Abraham and Sarah had a child in their old age, the child was named Isaac. Isaac also married a beautiful woman named Rebekah. In Genesis 26:6-7, Isaac, like his father, told the men in Gerar that Rebekah was his sister. He also was a liar.

Isaac and Rebekah had twin sons named Esau and Jacob. Esau was the oldest twin and therefore was supposed to receive the birthright and his father’s blessing. Jacob took advantage of Esau and was able to get Esau’s birthright for a bowl of pottage. Rebekah loved Jacob more that Esau. She overheard Isaac, her husband, telling Esau to go into the field and get some venison to make him a savory meat dish, and he would give him his blessing before he died. Rebekah devised a plan to deceive her aged husband who had lost most of his eye sight.  She had Jacob get a kid from the flock and kill it so she could make a savory meat dish. Because Esau was a hairy man, she took the animal’s skin and put it on Jacob’s arms so Isaac would think Jacob was Esau. When Jacob took the meat to Isaac, he asked are you Esau, and Jacob said yes he was and received his father blessing. This family continues to lie and deceive.

Another great Bible character was King David. In II Samuel 11 there is an account of David walking on the roof and saw a beautiful woman, Bathsheba, taking a bath. He lusted after her and sent one of his messengers to bring her to him. The Bible said he “lay with her” and the woman conceived and was with child. David tried to hide his sin by bringing her husband Uriah home from fighting the King’s battles. Uriah was a very loyal soldier and would not sleep with his wife because his fellow soldiers were sleeping in the fields. David then tried to get Uriah intoxicated thinking he would then go into his wife, this also failed. He sent Uriah back to the battle. David then sent word to Joab, his commander, to put Uriah on the front line and withdraw the troops. Joab followed David’s command resulting in Uriah’s death. David committed adultery and had a brave and loyal soldier murdered. God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David about his sin. Nathan did that and David, deeply grieved because of his sin, repented. In Psalm 32:5, David said,  “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity, I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the guilt of my sins.    In Acts 13:22, Stephen quoted the Lord saying “I have found David the son of Jesse a man after my own heart.”

The great apostle Paul said in I Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthily of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” In Romans 7:7-25, Paul was very frustrated and says over and over when he tried to do right he kept sinning and doing carnal things.

From these examples, it is quite apparent that many of the outstanding Bible characters did many sinful things, including lying, deceitful acts, adultery, and murder. When they repented God forgave and forgot their sins. If you think you have lived too sinful of a life for God to forgive you, realize you cannot limit the power of God to forgive. If God’s forgiveness was powerful enough to forgive these folks, it is powerful enough to forgive even you.

–Don Adair


Don’t Trade Your Birthright for a Bowl of Stew

In Genesis 25, there is an account of Isaac and Rebekah having twin boys. The oldest boy was named Esau, and the youngest one was named Jacob. The Lord told Rebekah in Genesis 25:23, “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body, one people shall be stronger than the other and the older shall serve the younger” (NKJV). Esau was the firstborn and came out of the womb red and was like a hairy garment. His younger brother Jacob looked very different.

As the boys grew, their lifestyles were quite different. Esau liked the out-of-doors and was a skilled hunter, whereas Jacob was a mild man that liked to stay in his tent.

Isaac and Rebekah did not use good judgment as parents, they chose favorites. Isaac loved Esau because he was a great outdoorsman as well as a great hunter. Rebekah loved Jacob more. The first point I would like to make in this article is that Parents should never show favoritism to their children. This can only lead to an unhappy dysfunctional family. This point is well illustrated in this Bible story; it will damage the husband and wife’s relationship and cause problems between the children.

In Genesis 25:29-34, Esau makes an incredibly bad decision. He had been out in the fields hunting and came home extremely hungry. Jacob had cooked a large pot of stew. In verse 30, Esau said to Jacob, “Feed me some of your red stew.” Jacob thought a minute and said “sell me your birthright, and I will. In verse 32, Esau said, “Look, I am about to die from hunger, what profit shall a birthright be.” In verse 33, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.

What was Esau thinking? Maybe you could better understand his decision if he was literally starving to death, but he wasn’t; he was only hungry. His decision absolutely makes no sense when you understand what the birthright meant in the ancient world. 

At the father’s death, the oldest child received this valuable inheritance including a double portion of the father’s assets as well as special blessings from the father. The child that had the birthright usually had the privilege of assuming leadership of the family. Not in a million years could Esau ever imagine all the ramifications that would hinge on this rash decision. This poor decision would be felt for countless generations.

A person might ask how Esau could be so incredibly stupid to trade such a valuable thing for a simple bowl of stew. Perhaps we need to stop and think about some of the bad decisions we have made in our life. Have we thrown away some valuable opportunities for things that look so good to us at the time but were nothing more than a bowl of stew?

How many young people have wrecked their lives for a few minutes of passion in the backseat of a car that lead to a child being conceived?

How many happily married people have had their marriage destroyed by a brief affair at work?

How many young people have had their life destroyed by drug addiction because they tried a drug just out of curiosity?

How many normally honest people have given in to temptations to cheat on their Income Tax? They may reason after all I need it more than the Government.

How many men going on work related business conferences where alcohol was flowing freely resist its temptation? The alcohol dulled their senses of right from wrong, and the women were available. A one night stand infected them with the dreaded AIDS virus. Their life is ruined forever.

In all the above situations, people are trading something very valuable for a BOWL OF STEW. Don’t trade your birthright in Christ for these things.