In the Bible, Esau is a solemn admonition for us. He was the grandson of Abraham, the Father of Faith. Materialistically, he inherited all the property of his father, Isaac. But from a spiritual perspective, he lost the heavenly blessing that is everlasting. Esau lost this heavenly benediction not because he was cheated out of his fatherˇ¦s blessing by his brother Jacob (since men can be cheated but not God), and not because God said, ˇ§Esau have I hatedˇ¨. It is because in his choices he followed the pleasures of the flesh again and again, despising his relationship with God.
The twins Esau and Jacob were both descendents of reverential people. During their motherˇ¦s pregnancy and delivery, there was already unusual conflict. The characters and preferences of the brothers were markedly different. Esau was skilled in hunting, and was often in the fields. Isaacˇ¦s nature was quiet, and stayed mostly among the tents. (Genesis 25:27) If we search carefully, we will understand that the predilections of Esau during his formative years somewhat molded his disposition to things later on. He chose life in the open country, was fond of hunting, and became an expert hunter. He was born into a wealthy family, so hunting was not a means of sustenance. It was a leisurely hobby to satisfy the physical emotions of euphoria and conquest. Not only that, he was probably quite a gourmet, as otherwise he would not have attracted his father to frequently taste his wild game. His father cherished him more, because Isaac would often partake of the game that he served up. Esau gradually became controlled by the pleasures of the flesh, so that he slowly lost interest in spiritual matters. This is also what we should be mindful of. Donˇ¦t allow ourselves or our children to over-indulge in the leisurely pursuits and physical enjoyments that people consider acceptable, because ultimately we will fall under their domination. It is what Paul has said, ˇ§Everything is permissible for meˇXbut not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for meˇXbut I will not be mastered by anything.ˇ¨ (1 Corinthians 6:12)
The life of Esau gives us another warning, and that is his disdain of spiritual things. One day, after coming back from hunting and feeling famished, Esau saw Jacob preparing a stew. For the sake of some food before him, Esau impatiently and thoughtlessly sold his birthright to Jacob in exchange for an immediate satisfaction of the flesh. This was a thoroughly ignorant transaction, since the birthright was not just an issue of property inheritance, it was an issue of the relationship between God and the descendents of Abraham. ˇ§He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.ˇ¨ (Genesis 25:34) The major character of our physical being is that it ˇ§cannot wait and cannot abstainˇ¨. How many people have failed in sexual morality because of their inability to deny the impulses of the flesh? Esau only sought instant gratification in his physical needs, searched for handy pleasures, but made light of things with spiritual value that have a relationship with God. Dear brothers and sisters, never allow the lust that ˇ§cannot wait and cannot abstainˇ¨ in our natural character to grow strong, so that we despise things that have everlasting value. The author of the Book of Hebrews warns us, ˇ§See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.ˇ¨ (Hebrews 12:16)
Esau was a man who followed the flesh. He preferred to choose according to his personal desires. In the matter of marriage, he ignored the opinion of his parents and picked Canaanite women as his wives, forgetting how attentive his grandfather was in choosing a woman that was pleasing to the will of God to be his fatherˇ¦s spouse. ˇ§When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite.ˇ¨ (Genesis 26:34) When the light finally came on and he realized that his parents did not care for the Canaanite women, he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath on top of his two wives. (Genesis 28:9) Esau relied only on the pleasures of the flesh in his dispositions and actions through a series of important life choices. He did not act according to the will of God, so that he turned further away from the Lord and lost the grace of God. I hope that the wrong choices Esau made generate an admonition for the brothers and sisters.
By: Daniel To