"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
What a necessary verse this is for today's milieu of utter nastiness. Whatever is noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, meditate on these! Instead, we have the Vanities reporting the news with such fervor. The worse the news the happier they seem. It is amazing. It appalls me to see what I now call the Smile (smirk?) on a face after just informing the unsuspecting public about yet another atrocity. While the captive public sits there reeling from the latest horror, said newsperson goes on to something more important, such as American Idol and (breathless!), "Who is going to win?" or Paris Hilton's saga of agony. Gracious, who has suffered more than Paris! Like I said, it's amazing and appalling! The world is reeling from one bad crisis to another even worse crisis, and we're drowning in trivia--even worse, stupid trivia. Heavens!
We are Esaus who have traded in our birthright (can we remember that we are heirs of the Kingdom?) for the pottage of instant gratification and constant, dinning entertainment which has dulled our sense and senses. Esau asked: "When a man is dying of starvation, what good is his birthright?" "Then Jacob gave Esau bread, peas, and stew; so he ate and drank and went on about his business, indifferent to the loss of the rights he had thrown away" (Genesis 25: 32,34 TLB). What a sad commentary: "Indifferent to the loss of the rights he had thrown away...!" I doubt we even know our rights before God. One version of the Bible has it that Esau despised his inheritance. I am more inclined to believe this version, that he was indifferent to this grand gift that was his by no merit of his. Indifference is such a terrible word! Our preoccupation with our next TV show, our next restaurant/shopping/vacation trip, (please believe I am not sitting in judgment on anyone about any of this; I'm as guilty as sin myself and, in context, these are innocent pleasures) our next whatever--this mitigates any thought of God and His gift to us of our holy inheritance. We seem unable anymore to take anything seriously. If it isn't tangible and now, then we don't bother with it.
So what have these two verses in common? If we are aware of our inheritance, then we won't be wasting substance and time on trash, on the pottages of this world. We will indeed think on an upper level. It's called nobility. What good is our birthright? It is all the good here and hereafter!