Esau’s story is told in Genesis 25—36. He is also mentioned in Malachi 1:2, 3; Romans 9:13; Hebrews 12:16, 17.
Made decisions rashly without considering consequences
Esau’s life was filled with choices he must have regretted bitterly. He appears to have been a person who found it hard to consider consequences, reacting to the need of the moment without realizing what he was giving up to meet that need. Trading his birthright for a bowl of stew was the clearest example of this weakness.
We too are often tempted by the need of the moment and failed to consider long term consequences. The lust of the moment has caused many families to break down. The need of the moment to get out of a difficult situation has caused many people to resort to lying with consequences that they will regret later.
The way to avoid all these regrets is to determine in your heart not to do certain things you know you may be later tempted to do. For example, you may will in your heart never to allow yourself to be tempted by a relationship outside marriage because you have thought through the consequences that might result.
Are you tempted to do wrong? Let’s think about the long-term consequences. Is it worth it?
He has perverted values
Hebrews 12:16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau. He traded his birthright as the oldest son for a single meal. 17And afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he wept bitter tears.
We may scorn at Esau for thinking that a meal is as important as his birthright. Yet we have our own mistakes in mixing up priorities. We think that achieving success at the office is more important than achieving success doing God’s will. We think that accumulating our wealth in this world is more important than giving into God’s kingdom and thereby accumulating treasures in heaven.
Let’s take a moment to think about our values. The birthright represents Esau’s spiritual inheritance. What are you attributing more importance to than your spiritual inheritance? Is it your wealth, family, hobbies?
Able to forgive
Esau’s initial reaction from Jacob’s deception was one of anger (Gen 27:41). Yet we learned later that after he cooled down, he could find a place in his heart to forgive his brother.
Genesis 32:6 The messengers returned with the news that Esau was on his way to meet Jacob—with an army of four hundred men! 7 Jacob was terrified at the news….11O Lord, please rescue me from my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to kill me, along with my wives and children…..33:3 Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed low seven times before him. 4 Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him affectionately and kissed him.
Despite having been cheated by Jacob of his birthright, Esau could find a place in his heart to forgive his brother. This is a mark of true love.
1 Cor 13:4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
We are often easily angered or irritated by the people we love and we have difficulty forgetting what they have done to us. This is not what true love is all about. If we have this difficulty, we have to ask God to enable us to be gracious and to forgive and be slow to anger.