Pastor Dwane Parsons starts a new series called Know Your Enemy – Part 1
Know Your Enemy! Part 1: Weariness
*Anyone here not a morning person?
I remember when I was 15 years old I got my first job in Scarborough working in an elevator factory.
It was hard work, long days and early mornings.
I had to get up really early, and leave the house to grab the bus across town often while I was still half asleep.
I had not discovered the wonderful gift from God called coffee, just yet.
One morning in particular I was so weary, I got up, poured myself a glass of juice, drank it, put everything back and rushed off to work.
My uncle Derek met me that evening once I got home.
He said, “You must have been sleepy this morning!”
I said, “Why?”
“Well, before you left this morning, you put an empty glass in the fridge and the jug of juice up in the cupboard! It fell out and splashed all over me when I opened the cupboard door!”
Have you ever done something when you were tired or weary and really regretted it later?
Maybe you snapped at your child or your spouse.
Maybe you broke something in a fit of anger because you were tired and cranky, and realized the next day you actually needed that item.
Maybe you gave up, gave in or gave out because you were tired of fighting and now you can’t make it right.
Between our Old Man flesh always trying to bring back our old ways of living, and the devil who wants to destroy you; watch out when you are weary.
That’s exactly the point where the enemy likes to attack.
We are in a spiritual warfare, and we have an adversary who doesn’t play fair and doesn’t care.
*In scripture we have the story of a man who made a gigantic error of judgment in a moment of weariness.
When the Jews talk about their great ancestors they’d often talk of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
But here’s the interesting fact, Isaac’s firstborn son was not Jacob, but a man named Esau.
Why don’t they list Esau?
Part of Esau’s fall from grace has to do with choices he made in moments of weariness.
But those destructive decisions were an indicator of a deeper spiritual problem in Esau’s life…
Here’s the story:
Esau and Jacob were the twin sons of Isaac.
Esau was the oldest son of the two.
Scripture tells us that as they “… grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents.
Genesis 25:29-34“Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.
He said to Jacob, ‘Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!’ …
Jacob replied, ‘First sell me your birthright.’
‘Look, I am about to die,’ Esau said. ‘What good is the birthright to me?’
But Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’
So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew.
He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.”
Esau’s birthright as the first-born son was to be the executor of the will.
And the executor was given twice as much as any other person in the family.
So if Isaac had $30,000 – Esau with his birthright would get 20, Jacob would get 10.
What Jacob was asking Esau for was to surrender his right as the executor to him.
Thus, Jacob would receive twice as much from the inheritance as Esau would get.
In a state of weariness and exhaustion, Esau makes a colossal mistake.
In fact, most of Esau’s adult life was an unfortunate journey of reacting in the worst kinds of ways when he was in moments of weakness and weariness.
He is hungry and tired – he sells his birthright.
He’s angry – he gets betrayed a second time by Jacob later on and he vows to kill his brother and creates a rift that tears them apart for years.
He’s lonely – he ends up marrying two women from an enemy tribe who cause all kinds of grief for his parents.
Esau lived and was raised around people who followed Yahweh, and for the most part he even seems like a good man.
Esau generally honored his father, he was a good brother who ultimately forgave Jacob of his betrayal.
But he was willing to sell out his inheritance because he was hungry.
There was an overarching spiritual problem in Esau’s life that was behind a lot of his poor decisions and toxic actions.
Hebrews calls Esau “Godless.”
Because Esau was godless, he tried to do everything in his own strength, wouldn’t let God or others in to speak into his life, and constantly did what was right in his own eyes.
Because Esau was godless, he didn’t trust God or anyone around him to deliver anything good.
Because he was godless, Esau traded away his future… and he couldn’t get it back.
He treated his inheritance as if it was something useless or he wasn’t even interested in obtaining.
Esau robbed himself of a blessing that God wanted to give him.
When a person is godless, changing your thinking and behaviour to honor God seems like a useless chore and an inconvenience.
He probably felt if he didn’t make it happen for himself, it would never happen.
He was trying to do it all on his own, in open rebellion to God and his family who would have included him in the blessing.
Is there any surprise he was morally, spiritually and physically weary?
He was trying to do life all on his own.
He couldn’t see the promise of his future because he didn’t have a defining moral compass beyond his own animalistic appetites.
He didn’t care that he was wrecking his future and dishonoring God – all he knew was that he was hungry now.
He didn’t care anymore, so he went ahead and traded his inheritance for a bowl of soup.
All because of weariness.
*Webster defines the word “weary” as “to be faint, to wear out or be worn out, tired, sick, fatigued, exhausted, and out of patience.”
Weariness makes you vulnerable.
Weariness can cause you to lose perspective.
Weariness makes you impatient.
Weariness can cause you to make decisions based on what’s convenient, rather than what’s good in the long run.
Don’t sell your soul in a weary moment, like Esau did.
If Esau had not been godless, he could have connected with God’s strength to help him.
He could have leaned on his family for love and correction.
But Esau wouldn’t listen to his family for help or wisdom.
He wouldn’t lean on God to order his life.
He refused to trust that God could provide a blessing to give him hope.
It’s a tragedy that is repeated in our lives today, as well.
When our lives, as disciples of Jesus, are filled with worry, hurry and self we are acting like we are spiritual orphans.
We act like we do not have a loving Heavenly father who sings over us with blessing.
When we behave as if we are godless and run our own lives into the ground, we miss out on one of life’s important blessings.
*That blessing is that God is near to weary people.
It’s no secret that living a life that honors God can even make you weary at times, and God invites you and I to draw near to Him when we are worn out.
Ps 119:28 My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. (David recognized God’s truth and His presence would bring stability and strength when he was weary.)
Isa 40:30,31 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
(Everybody gets weary. Godly people lean on the Lord.)
Gal 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Hope – our obedience to following Jesus is not empty duty or activity. Burnout told me lies that my ministry was a failure, when many lives were impacted for Jesus.)
Mt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Jesus is saying even if you’ve made a mess of things; carrying problems, regrets and shame, you can draw near to Him for rest.)
Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
(Jesus’ attitude, behavior and character can encourage us when we are weary. Jesus taught us not to worry, but to trust God for our daily bread.)
When we are weary we need to HALT.
So many of us are performance driven approval junkies.
It’s not a godly way to live, and it’s a sure recipe to become weary.
We are addicted to being busy, but by worshipping busyness we are setting ourselves up to crash.
We are usually running from the real hurts or issues that need to be dealt with.
AA teaches addicts to really watch out at 4 specific times when they are in danger of a crash, or a relapse into addiction.
These are the times they need to reach out and lean on someone else for help:
They teach their members to HALT…
When you’re Hungry…
When you’re Angry…
When you’re Lonely…
When you’re Tired…
Esau made his biggest mistakes when he was hungry, angry, lonely and tired.
He crashed when he got weary.
We all get weary.
It’s a normal part of life.
But the good news is God invites us to come to him when we are weary.
God isn’t shocked or embarrassed if you put the juice jug in the cupboard by mistake.
If you face that enemy of weariness today, or this week…
Don’t be godless like Esau.
HALT and hope in the Lord.
He can lift you up!