- Religion and Philosophy
The Folly of Being Like Esau
The Folly of Being Like Esau
“I have loved you,” says the Lord. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” The Lord says. “ Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have ruined his mountains into wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”
Esau is described as a godless person who sold his own birthright for a single meal. Esau’s birthright was his inheritance as the firstborn son. He stood to be head of a large extended family and its property. Though his brother Jacob took advantage of him, the Bible gives Esau a little sympathy for his sake as victim: he despised his birthright by letting his hunger overwhelm his concern for things of lasting values. Because of this he was later labeled godless.
Esau represents people who considers things of temporal values rather than consider things that will reap blessings in eternity. These people looks only upon the things the world could offer. They go for all that the world offers in this life, to the neglect of their souls and eternity. They give in to their temporal fleshly cravings at the expense of breaking God’s moral laws. They work hard so much as possible to possess all the best things this temporal world offer without caring for their life in eternity. All their cares concern only the life here on earth without taking time to think over their life after death. So their lives flourish in materialism while lacking spiritual values. Though they may be rich in material things, their lives remain futile, because God is outside the picture of their lives.
Today’s generation is characterized by this kind of people. They are success-oriented people. Their values and ideals of success are based on wealth and possessions. You are successful by this world standard if you are earning a six-digit income, living in a high-end subdivision, driving the most expensive cars, has savings worth millions. Today man’s worth is measured by his possession.
There are even some professing Christians who rather seek the blessings but they do not desire God Himself as the blessing. There are also many today who are Christians for the benefits of Christianity. These people are just like Esau. They desire the blessing, but they are not really interested in godliness. The “Prosperity Gospel” which has infested many modern churches influences people to seek rich blessings from God. Prosperity Gospel drives people to be blessings-oriented people, rather than to find contentment in everything the Lord provides. True Christianity teaches godliness with contentment is a great gain, rather than teaching to covet greater blessings from God as what the Prosperity Gospel teaches. As Christians we should find out true treasure in God Himseld not in the world’s goods. We should live one day at a time, pursuing simplicity, entrusting each day to God’s power, love, mercy and grace.
The world’s view of success is very much different from God’s view of success. It is written in Matthew 16:26; “ What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet suffer the loss of his soul.” A man may be very successful by this world standard and he has all the best things the world could offer but without the hope of eternal life, such life is futile for he has no hope beyond death’s door. He is bound for eternal doom without Christ in his life. Salvation of his soul is man’s greatest need in this world. Without assurance of salvation , life is futile.
It is also written in I John 2:17; “the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” The world system and all its elements are not bound to last for eternity . One day it will meet its end. All those who put their security upon wordly things will be shattered. But those who are firm in living for God’s glory can enjoy the promise of great eternal rewards.