Esau and an Eternity of Regrets
Esau is a helpful bad example for us. We need bad examples, as foils for good examples. In this way, the bad example people of the Bible become our teachers. We might say of them, “Here is what you do not do.” Are you like Esau?
Esau was the eldest son of Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac was the son of Abraham and Sarah, who raised him from their old age. God made a covenant, which pertained to God’s plan for Abraham and his seed. He stated the covenant to Isaac, too.
Under the law of the first-born son, which was a type of Christ, the inheritance of the father’s house would greatly favor this male offspring. Although Esau and Jacob were twin sons born to Rebekah, Esau was the first born.
The birthright and blessing belonged to Esau. They would be bestowed upon him at the time of his father’s choosing. Esau was a hunter. He was a man of the world. His thoughts were worldly, and this led to his actions being worldly, too.
Birthrights and blessing are from God. They are ordered by God, and ultimately, they are bestowed by God. Men of the world do not fear God. They do not set their affections on the things of heaven. They do not live in gratitude for what God has given to them. In fact, there is disrespect for God, seen in the diminished interest in the things of God.
Esau devalued his birthright and blessing. He held them lightly. Despite his being brought up in a believing home, that is, in the home of those who were privy to the covenant, he did not see the value. This is observed in his encounter with his brother, Jacob. The sale of his birthright for a bowl of soup would be laughable if it were not so tragic. The issue is the value of spiritual blessings versus material blessings.
In his forty years of living at home and helping mom, Jacob learned to cook. He probably was an excellent chef. Hanging out at home with a godly mother shaped Jacob’s worldview. He was taught the value of covenant blessings. He understood his position as second born son. He probably spent much time musing over birthrights and blessings while he helped mom with the dishes and laundry.
Wives have a way of working around the deficiencies of their husbands, who have head of the household rights. Jacob watched Rebekah get the job done, with a wink of the eye from his mom, who he no doubt loved very much. After all, Esau was dad’s favorite son, anyway (Gen 25:28). Jacob probably helped his mom with little deceits on a regular basis.
There was no greater deceit than when Rebekah helped Jacob steal Esau’s blessing from Isaac. You know it is a bad day when God permits your neglect of His covenant blessings to revert to someone else. Esau despised the blessing he did not understand. His indifference was evident. Rebekah understood the value of spiritual heritage, and she educated Jacob with daily tutorials. While they baked bread together, Jacob ate up the manna of wisdom from his mom. He learned to want what Esau carelessly handled.
Our spiritual heritage sounds like this, “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” not like this, “Abraham, Isaac, and Esau.” Who knew it would unfold in this manner? God did. God’s sovereign love was bestowed on Jacob, not Esau (Gen 25:28; Mal 1:2; Rom 9:13). Now, there is no justification for deceit; and Jacob was not innocent in his taking advantage of his brother, nor in his manipulation of his father. Those are lessons of rebuke for another day. Here our focus is on Esau.
Did you grow up in a Christian home? Did you attend a Christian school? Were your parents faithful to take you to church? These are part of your spiritual heritage. As an adult, have you departed from your birthright? God has placed many in Christian settings. Like Esau, we were graciously placed into environments where the conversations and deeds pointed to something greater than this world. Examine yourself.
Have you hunted for something in this world, using what precious little time afforded you, only to end up exhausted at the end of the day. In your weakness, have you traded the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ for a life of materialism, tourism, pornography, work, sports, politics, etc.? Cheap imitations have the staying power of a bowl of soup. The great problem with cheap imitations is they are laced with addictions. Addictions eventually destroy the user. It can even happen with the first use.
Esau’s neglect of the birthright and blessing was exacerbated by his disregard for time. He did not know the hour the thief would visit him. He was unprepared. He did not even recognize the thief looked just like him. They lived in the same house together. They ate the same food. They shared everything, except Esau’s advantages.
What is your life? Is it not a vapor, here today, and gone tomorrow? Why do you neglect to redeem the time? Are these days not evil enough for you? Striving, after that which God has promised to add unto you, is lust. Is not lust the cause of your striving in the first place? Position yourself on your death bed. What have you gained from your lust in the world? What will you take with you into eternity? Was it worth it?
You did not heed the blessing prepared for you. You lived in denial of your birthright. Is God not right to strip you of the good things freely given to you? You claimed Christ and heaven as your birthright, but you lived like Esau in the world. You shirked the blessings of Christ during your life, in favor of worldly highs. Why would you expect the blessings of heaven after you die? You did not want them while you lived in the world. You are no more fit for heaven than Esau.
Consider your ways my friend. Are you living a double life? Do you operate on a double standard? Are you double minded about these things? Then you must avoid Esau’s final error. He never repented of his neglect, even after he suffered the loss of his blessing and birthright. He had a momentary remorse, but later, there was just as much world in his life than before.
Esau never truly understood what was stolen from him. He never wrestled with God to get back what was taken from him. This, too, demonstrated why eternity could be nothing but regrets for Esau. How about for you?
In conclusion, you must want Christ more than anything. Christ is the first born (Rom 8:29), and He is your blessing. Seek Him first and most. Value Him above life itself because He is the giver of life. Love the Lord with everything you have because He has given you everything. Give thanks to Him, for He is your inheritance. Pray without ceasing. With every denial of this world, you are more fit for heaven. Be prepared as the virgin waiting for her wedding day. In doing these things, you will spur others to value their birthright and blessing, too, unlike Esau, who lived, died, and now has an eternity of regrets.
David E. Norczyk
May 17, 2021