I asked, "What were the ungodly decisions made by Esau?"


           Esau made an ungodly decision to sell his birthright for a swallow of some "red stuff" that Jacob made.  This is how he gained the name Edom (meaning "red").  Had it not been God's will for Jacob to be greater than Esau (Romans 9), Esau could have practiced some self-control and discipline by doing this:  waiting on his hunger, killing an animal (since he was a skilled hunter), quickly preparing a meal, and eating it.  Then, he could have kept his birthright instead of losing it over one meal (Genesis 25:29-34).  The act of Esau selling his birthright for a single meal was due to his immorality and godlessness (Hebrews 12:16).


           Later, Esau grieves his mother and father by marrying two foreign wives (both women were Hittites).  Further-more, in Esau's rebellion he sees his brother Jacob being obedient and being blessed so he purposely goes and marries a Canaanite woman whom he knows his father Isaac is displeased with (Genesis 26:34-35; 38:6-9).  Hebrews 12 relates Esau's attitude to a root of bitterness springing up and defiling many.  In Amos 1:11-12 Esau's attitude is described as continual anger and a stifling of compassion.  Esau was an immoral man, and his only hope to avoid his wrong actions would be to humble himself and repent.  He needed more than just worldly tears in seeking for repentance (Hebrews 12:17).


           Esau's descendants (those who live in Edom) carried on his rebellion also.  When Moses and the Israelites asked to just peacefully pass through Edom, they were vehemently refused (Numbers 20).  Jeremiah 49 shows how God dealt with Esau's actions.  "But I have stripped Esau bare, I have uncovered his hiding places so that he will not be able to conceal himself; his offspring has been destroyed along with his relatives and his neighbors, and he is no more" (Jeremiah 49:10).  Esau's descendants were reduced to nothing because of their arrogance.  The Lord says again in Obadiah 3-4, "The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in the loftiness of your dwelling place, who say in your heart, 'Who will bring me down to earth?'  Though you build high like the eagle, though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down."  In Genesis it described how Esau's attitude was toward Jacob.  It told how Esau hated his brother when he took his blessing.  Then he sought to kill his brother, Jacob, in order to console himself.  Although Esau was unable to harm Jacob and in later years treated Jacob with kindness, God said this of Esau, "Because of violence to your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame, and you will be cut off forever" (Obadiah 10).  The Lord loved Jacob, but He hated Esau.  Esau continued on in his own arrogance and even his ancestors said that they had been beaten down, but they would return and build up the ruins.  That determination is not bad in itself.  However, if it is in violation of what God wants, then it is a great offense (like here in the case of the Esau's descendants the Edomites).


In conclusion I asked, "How will this teach me?" 


           This teaches me to, "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God" (Hebrews 12:15).  How do I do this?  I do this by paying close attention to myself and my teaching (methods of doing things, doctrines, etc.) and by persevering in the commands of God so that my progress may be evident to all.  The commands of God are to love Him with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love my neighbor as myself.  Genesis gives this example of Esau so that ill-will may be recognized as a form of godlessness.  "Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord" (1 Peter 2:1-3).  The example is given also to warn me not to set my heart on carnal things (like a bowl of lentil soup) because they are passing away.  "Do not be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?'  For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:31-34).