How God Views EasuHow God Views Esau (Genesis 25:27-34)
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By Frank L. Hoffman

Scripture References:

Genesis 1:26-31
Genesis 3:6
Genesis 25:27-34
Genesis 26:34
Malachi 1:2-3
Romans 9:13
Hebrews 12:15-17

We have heard a lot of hunters use Esau as a Biblical example to try to justify their lust for killing, as if God approved of Esau's lifestyle and heart attitude.  But is this how God looks upon Esau?

Let's begin by looking at Genesis 25:27-34.

27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents.

28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

We see here that Isaac loved Esau, but the question is...did God?

29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.

30 He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.)

31 Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright."

32 "Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"

33 But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

The birthright seems to be very important to God, as we are told about Adam in Genesis 1:26-31.

26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

28 And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

29 Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.

31 And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

God gave His creation to Adam and his descendents to care for it as He had created it to be with no suffering or death, where both humans and the other animals ate only plant foods.  This was Adam's birthright.

But Adam failed this trust and "sold" his birthright to the devil when he disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit. (Genesis 3:6) As a result, the earth became cursed.

So, with this in mind, let's return to our study of Esau's relationship with God.

God separated Abraham from the worldly people of the earth, so that he could begin a people dedicated to the Lord.  They were also not to intermarry with these worldly people; but Esau broke this covenant, too, as we are told in Genesis 26:34-35.

34 And when Esau was forty years old he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite;

35 and they brought grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

Esau's defiant act brought grief upon his parents, and also separated him further from God.

Note what we are told in Malachi 1:2-3.

2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How hast Thou loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob;

3 but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation, and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness."

Jacob may have been a deceiver, but he repented and changed his ways and God blessed him as the third patriarch and changed his name to Israel, but Esau He rejected.

Paul also confirms this in Romans 9:13.

13 Just as it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

And note what we are told in Hebrews 12:15-17.

15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.

17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

Esau did things for the reward he'd receive, and not to obey and please God, and he never repented of his desire to kill or for selling his birthright.

So why would anyone want to be like Esau?  It just doesn't make any sense, unless they also hate God.

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