My father relayed the answer my sister had to the following question: Why was it that God chose Jacob over Esau? Because “Abraham, Isaac and Esau” would sound funny. It is one of the age old questions, why did God choose Jacob and say he hated Esau. Did he look down through Esau’s life to see the many bad choices he would make?
Last night’s reading brought us to the point of Esau’s third marriage. This guy just didn’t get it. He sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, he marries two women from the Canaanite land, and when Jacob gets sent away to find a wife from Abraham’s family (and for other reasons too), he thinks that’s the problem and goes out and married a third woman– one from Ishmael’s line! Now, granted, Jacob was the sup-planter, he did deceive his father, “stole” the birthright, and even will fleece Laban in a little while here, but how could Esau miss the mark so badly?
It’s hard to think of this as a time where there would have not been a complete Bible available. Isaac probably told his sons about God, and they would have heard about all of what had happened so far. One would hope that Esau and Jacob would have been told about the difference between Cain and Able’s sacrifices. One could easily imagine Isaac telling them about how Rebekah was selected from his home, and yet Esau still made choices for himself.
How about you and I? It’s easy to look back at Esau and see where he made his mistakes. It’s especially easy when the most we see about him are his mistakes! Yet Isaac loved him more than Jacob (not that
parents should have favorites) for more than the fact that he made good venison. There must have been redeeming qualities within the mistakes.
Do we make colossal mistakes in our lives that we live with the consequences of– sure we do. My mom says “We live with the decisions we make” and that’s what I take away from Esau. He kept trying to
please his family and kept goofing it up because he guessed at what he needed to do. We have no excuse. We have God’s complete revealed Word. Think about it…