Priorities (or Trading Stupidly)

[You can’t have everything and do everything; so you have priorities, whether you considered it or not. If you don’t think about the consequences of your priorities, you will be trading stupidly.

You only have so much:

(1) Time (What do you do with your time?)

(2) Money (What do you do with your money?)

(3) Strength (What do you do with your strength?)

priority, n.; pl. priorities, 1. the state of being prior, or of preceding something else; precedence in time, order, importance, etc.

(We are looking at “precedence in . . . importance” in this bible study.)

[This word is not in the bible, but the concept is:]

Proverbs 23:23 “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”

LAWYER JOKE: A lawyer was getting out of his car next to the side of the road and a passing trucks collides with his door, knocking it off the hinges, as the truck continues down the road. A passerby runs to help the lawyer who is a little dazed, and says, “Did you notice that your door got knocked off your car?” The lawyer says, “Oh, no! My Porsche!” The passerby says, “And did you notice that when the truck hit your door, it tore your left arm completely off your shoulder?” The lawyer says, “Oh, no! my Rolex!”

QUESTION: What makes this joke funny?

ANSWER: There’s so much truth to it (and nobody likes lawyers.)

(Most lawyers I’ve known are not particularly stupid: they’re just totally ignorant concerning spiritual issues.)

Λ Proverbs 11:4 “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.”

(It’s so hard to find time to cultivate both “riches” and “righteousness”.)

Hosea 13:6 “According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.”

Job 21:13-14 “They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.”

Matthew 6:19-21 “. . . lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . . .”

19:30 “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

[What can be seen from the above two passages, is that if you want to be really rich, the Lord’s way, (that is, you’re smart) you just need to be willing to collect on your wealth in the future instead of insisting that you get it now!] (Savannah/Chez syndrome)


Genesis 25:19-34 “And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?”

Genesis 27:1-34 “And Isaac . . . said, . . . and he [Jacob] shall be blessed. And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry. . . .”

Salient Points:

(1) What Esau formerly viewed as not having any value, he now sees as being worth everything!

(2) What Esau formerly viewed as being of extreme value is now clearly worthless!

(3) Esau played the fool, and it was all for nothing, because:

(4) He could have made his own bowl of soup when he got back home! He could have waited that long!

Λ (Luke 21:19 “In your patience possess ye your souls.”)

QUESTION: Why does the statement, “I want. . . .” always include the implied word “now”?

ANSWER: Because “wanting stuff” is the opposite of being “content” (which is godly) and if the person is ungodly enough to be hung up on his wants, he’s probably also ungodly enough to be impatient about his wants, which is just a little more ungodliness!

1st Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Isaac’s View on the Matter:

v. 35 “And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.”

Esau’s View on the Matter:

v. 36 “And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times. . . .”

(supplant, 1. to trip up. [Rare.] 2. to take the place of; to supersede, especially through force, scheming, or treachery 3. to remove or uproot in order to replace with something else.)

God’s Judgment on the Matter:

Romans 9:13 “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

[This is the end of the matter!]

LAWYER JOKE: The devil comes to a young lawyer with an offer, “I will give you financial success, women, political power, respect, and fame; and then in the end you give your soul to me.” The lawyer says, “So, what’s the catch?”

Λ ANSWER: Matthew 16:24-27 (26) “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

QUESTION: What’s the lawyer’s problem?

(1) The deal seems too good to be true. (The “wise” of this world know there’s always a “catch” to a “good deal.”)

(2) He does not consider his “soul” to be worth very much, if anything.

(3) The things that the devil offers him in exchange for his soul are extremely desirable to him.

[Here’s another offer:] Isaiah 55:1 “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

QUESTION: What’s wrong with this offer according to the wisdom of this world?

(1) The deal seems obviously too good to be true: nothing of value is free.

(2) These “waters,” “wine and milk” are clearly not worth anything.

(3) What would have to be “given up” for this free offer is too valuable.

Jeremiah 8:9 “The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?”


1st Samuel 8:1-5 “Then all the elders of Israel . . . came to Samuel . . .and said unto him, . . . make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

v. 7 “And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”

Numbers 11&12 (11:6) “But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.”

(1) They were on their way to a land “flowing with milk and honey”! – Exodus 3:8,17

(2) They could have had every good kind of food they wanted, if they had just been patient.

(3) They ended up getting nothing! – Numbers 11:34


2nd Kings 5:1-27 “The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.”

Matthew 26:14-16 “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.”

v. 24 “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.”


Genesis 13:1-15 “Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”

22:1-18 “And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.”


Matthew 13:44-46 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

Revelation 3:18 “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”