The dangers of momentary pleasures

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Life is hard no doubt and sometimes it doe seem more difficult for some people than others. Many times we are faced with situations that look impossible and assume that we have to act fast otherwise we will die or lose the opportunity. At such time we may act secretively and refuse another counsel perhaps because we assume by so doing we may waste time or we may be dissuaded against acting as we wish when in our mind that is all we want.

Perhaps it could be greed that takes captive of our thinking or just pure lust.  How many people are in heavy debt today because they acted impulsively or were greedy for more? How many have destroyed their marriage because of momentary lust? How many have betrayed loved ones for something they craved for? The problem with such actions is that they lose sight of the future.

At first we may feel satisfied and sometimes even powerful because we have got what we set out to get. However the price for acting impulsively is sometimes too high and cannot be reversed. A good example in scripture of a person who acted impulsively for a moment’s desire was Esau. Esau was Jacob’s older twin brother.  By virtue of his position he had the eldest son birthright which entailed a double portion of the family’s inheritance together with the honor of one day becoming the head of the family.

Esau was also his father’s favorite son while Jacob was his mother’s favorite. Esau was “a skillful hunter, a man of the field” while Jacob was “a mild man dwelling in tents”, Genesis 25:27. One day Esau came from working from the field and he was hungry. His brother Jacob in the meanwhile was making some tasty stew at home. Esau asked for some stew from Jacob and Jacob being the trickster he was saw a chance to get what he wanted.

Jacob asked his brother to sell him his birthright in exchange for the stew and Esau responded “look, I am about to die; so what is the birthright to me?” (Genesis 27:29-32). Esau could not have been dying of starvation but he was hungry and was exaggerating for effect. Jacob saw an opportunity to get what he wanted and insisted on Esau swearing that he was releasing his birthright for the bowl of soup which Esau willing did “and so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. —Thus Esau despised his birthright” (Genesis 25:33-34).

 Esau exchanged his birth right for by a bowl of stew. He acted on impulse satisfying his immediate desires without pausing to consider the long term effect of his action. The pressure of his momentary hunger distorted his perspective making his decision seem urgent.  For a bowl of stew Esau lost his heritage and at the appointed time, Jacob received what was originally Esau’s, (Genesis 27).

These are the kind of decisions that have destroyed many lives. A married person may experience sexual pressure and ignore the marriage vow to get momentarily pleasure. The pressure to have sex with the person is so intense that nothing else at that moment matters. David fell into such a temptation when he committed adultery with Bathsheba.

As David looked from the rooftop he saw a beautiful woman taking a bath and was filled with lust. Instead of fleeing from this temptation David proceeded to enquire more about the woman.  The adultery resulted in a pregnancy which David tried to cover up. When this did not succeed he proceeded to murder Bathsheba’s husband to protect himself from Uriah talking. Bathsheba mourned her husband. “And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife and bore him son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord” (2 Samuel 11: 2-26). 

The consequences of David’s actions would have great ramification on his kingdom and family. Prophet Nathan who bore the sentence that the Lord had pronounced on David relayed the message thus, “behold I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. —the child also who is born to you shall surely die” (2 Samuel 12: 11-14). 

This prophecy came to pass in that the son conceived of the illicit sex died (2 Samuel12:18). Amnon David’s first born son raped Tamar, his half sister, and was later murdered by Absalom, David’s third son for this action (2 Samuel 13-14). Later Absalom rebelled against David. He set up tent on the roof and slept with 10 of David’s concubines openly (2 Samuel: 15-18).

Adonijah the fourth son is said to have been very handsome but was never disciplined. He set himself as king before David’s death. Although David forgave him when exposed Solomon his half brother who became king after David had him executed (1 Kings1, 2). Solomon born of Bathsheba seemed to have inherited his father’s weakness because his downfall came as a result of the many wives and concubines he acquired in his lifetime (Nehemiah 13:26).

If David had known of the painful consequences of his sin he would not have pursued the pleasure of the moment. This is why scripture tells us to flee temptation. We can avoid temptation by earnest prayer for God to help us stay away from people, places and situation that my tempt us.  Secondly, study the word and memorize it that it may protect you at the appropriate time. When Jesus was tempted all He did was quote scripture back to the devil.

Thirdly, Get an accountability partner or get wise counsel before engaging in anything that may be a trap. Learn to be content in whatever situation you are in or with what you have because this takes care of our greed and unholy desires. Be thankful in every situation you are in because by so doing you learn to appreciate what you have and avoid a greedy spirit that leads to destruction.

God is not the author of confusion and anything that forces you to act fast and secretly or anytime you feel tempted to do so, please pause and take a deep breath before you act. You will save yourself and your loved ones a lot of pain in the future.

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