In Genesis 25, the early years of Esau and Jacob are condensed to just a couple paragraphs. From the womb, the two “struggle” with each other and this will persist throughout the rest of their days, as foretold by God in verse 23. The brothers will father two different nations, divided and in conflict. The lesson I want to focus on comes from decisions made later in the passage.
The ESV Study Bible explains:
“While Jacob may be criticized for exploiting his brother in a moment of weakness, Esau is indifferent toward his firstborn status. He does not grasp the significance of all that God has promised to fulfill through the unique line descended from Abraham, of which he is the natural heir.”
In this case, Esau is completely blind to reality. His solution for hunger is to get something to eat no matter what it cost him. It’s so strange that Esau could have been so irrational, and amazing how much could be changed by one reckless decision. But truly, it’s not very hard to see myself in this scene. There are times when I have chosen my own way, or acted impulsively, seeking temporary satisfaction when something far better awaited my obedience. A very good friend of mine once wisely rebuked me saying, “Bro, you’re trading richest satisfaction in God for your passing pleasure.” Closeness with God and walking in His way is the great reward we were designed to crave and be satisfied in. I love how C.S. Lewis articulates it:
“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased,” (The Weight of Glory).
How about you? Do you recognize when your flesh leads you to prefer immediate gratification instead of walking in the ways of God?
Don’t be fooled thinking your heart wants indulgence in fleshly pleasures. God’s ways save; ours don’t. Instead, know that having God, and even, having God and nothing else, is all you need to be satisfied.
By: Taylor Gilliam