Monday, February 10, 2014
The Hebrews writer labeled Esau "immoral and godless". To be immoral is to go against acceptable standards of ethical behavior in a culture. Esau did this in his family, despising his father by treating his birthright lightly. In that culture respect for one's responsibility to be the firstborn leader, to take over the family "business," was the oldest son's chief avenue to honor one's heritage. But Esau didn't care!
The second word used to define Esau's behavior is "godless", which means you live as if there is no god; there is no one but yourself to acknowledge as having any claim on your life. Esau treated his responsibility for spiritual leadership as “optional”. If it was convenient he might choose to cooperate; if difficult, something to be discarded.
When he returned from a hunting trip, tired and hungry his brother Jacob was cooking up a feast. “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?” (Genesis 25:32 NLT)
We make much of Jacob's deception, stealing the birthright from his brother in a weakened condition. But Esau's despising his God-given birthright for a plate of red beans and rice just showed just how godless he'd become.
It is so true that impulsive decisions are later regretted. In the case of Esau he eventually "got it" that he'd sold his chance to respect God and take responsibility for being God’s man in his community. By then he could not undo what he'd done, even with great weeping at his father’s bedside.
You may be languishing in regret over past indiscretions or downright godlessness and immorality. And there is nothing you CAN do to change one bit of history. But if you read on in Genesis you'll find that Esau changed.
And that means there’s hope.
It took twenty years in God’s “woodshed of correction” for the brothers to sort out their pathways and be reunited. In that time Esau had become a godly man and a respected community leader. Jacob had learned a thing or two about God’s priorities too. Don’t forget, for every Esau who takes a couple decades to find his way, there’s a Jacob who has his own lessons to learn. God’s timing is best. Always!
If you've blown-it, you can't undo what you've done; you can, however trust God and begin to acknowledge Him as Lord over your life. You can begin to take responsibility for spiritual leadership by being obedient to God’s ways. That’s what Esau did.
Title Photo: http://blog.peoplefinders.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/regret.jpg