Hebrews 12:16-17; 1 Samuel 15:24-29
They say, “Hindsight is 20/20.”
This expression comes from the way people describe good vision. A person with perfect eyesight has what is called 20/20 sight. Hindsight is an understanding of a situation or event that comes only after it has happened or developed. So the phrase “hindsight is 20/20” emphasizes the clarity that people have about their past decisions, as opposed to the uncertainty before they make the decision.
Esau serves as a prime example in this through forsaking an eternal birthright for worldly gratification. He abandoned the greater promise for an immediate satisfaction because he became blinded by physical want and could not grasp the true lasting value of his inheritance. And what about the demise of Saul? His vision was skewed because he became more concerned about impressing others and pleasing himself than he was about his submission to the Lord’s will. He ignored the responsibility he held as a ruler, and neglected to reflect on what ramifications he may face from his disobedience. And because of that, he found himself stripped of his position and his anointing.
Their unwillingness to yield and consider the impact of their actions led them to sin and to suffer massive losses. Both men eventually came to a sobering moment when they recognized the monumental mistakes they had made, but they couldn’t retrieve what they had already freely given away. Esau still got a blessing, but not the best blessing. Saul was still loved by God, but he could no longer be used by God. They had given up something priceless for a fleeting satisfaction.
Situations will arise in your life where you are faced with a choice to either hold on to the promise of your blessing, or trade it for something that in the moment seems more appealing. But be careful - for there will come a day when you can no longer get back the inheritance you’ve thrown away if you deliberately neglect God’s commands for too long. If you use your own limited view to make decisions, you will likely end up choosing the tempting temporary - later feeling remorse and regret while experiencing firsthand the notion of “hindsight is 20/20.”