Series of 15 Sermons by Pastor Ron Thomas On
"The Life of Jacob"

5 - "WHAT ESAU SAW"
RODGERS BAPTIST CHURCH
801 West Buckingham Rd. - Garland, TX 75040

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2/6/2002

5 - WHAT ESAU SAW

Text: Genesis 28:6-9. When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; 7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram; 8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; 9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath (makh-al-ath') the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth (neb-aw-yoth'), to be his wife.

Introduction: This is a series on THE LIFE OF JACOB, however the life of Jacob is intertwined with the life of his older brother Esau, especially in the early years of his life. While Jacob has his problems, he still made better choices than his brother Esau. Jacob has a better sense of value, an appreciation for spiritual things, he has a greater respect and reverence for those in authority, and as a result makes better choices.

In contrast to this, Esauís life is a study on how not to live, what not to do. These two brothers are vastly different and provide a study in contrast. Before we move on with the life of Jacob, it is important to focus on the choices and life of Esau.

Genesis 28:6 begins with three words that arrested my attention, "When Esau saw".

It makes a difference as to what we see. A schoolboy who brought home his report card was concerned because of poor grades. His dad took one look at his grades, frowned and asked, What have you to say about this? The school boy put a smile on his face and said, One thing is for sure, Dad. You can be proud to know that your son hasnít been cheating! It makes a difference as to what we see! People can view the same situation, the same circumstances, and see different things.

So, what did Esau see? Why is this so important? Well, what we see is what we focus upon. What we focus upon eventually determines how we feel. How we feel, the emotions that we allow to run through our hearts, determines our thoughts, our mind set. Out of our mind set comes our decisions, our choices. Our choices and decisions in life determine our destiny. Listen, it is a big deal where we allow our eyes to rest, because soon that is where we allow our minds to dwell. Our eyes are but gates to our minds, and our minds sway influence over our actions. Proverbs 23:7a says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he".

An example of this is Eve in the garden. As Eve focused upon what she was not allowed to have, what she did not possess, the one forbidden thing, it began to dominate her emotions and mind, resulting in a bad choice, a bad decision, that altered her life permanently. Genesis 3:6 reads, ďAnd when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.Ē How many times do we find ourselves dwelling upon what we do not have rather than what we possess? How many times are we guilty of focusing upon what is wrong in our lives, rather than what is right; our problems over our blessings?

What I want to do in this message, is to stop and consider WHAT ESAU SAW. WHAT ESAU SAW, he ultimately seized upon, and the rest is history.

FIRST, ESAU SAW AND SEIZED UPON AN OPPORTUNITY TO GRATIFY HIS FLESH.

Genesis 25:32-34. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Esauís stomach was growling. It was crying out for food. He was no where near death, but the desire in his body for food was real. His appetite drove him to satisfy itís desires, itís demands, at the expense of sacrificing something precious, something of great value.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we are all equipped with two sets of drives, two sets of desires, one which is holy, and one which is unholy; one that is carnal and one that is Christ; one set that desires to please God, and another set that desires to please the god of this world.

The apostle Paul refers to our two natures in conflict as the "old man", and the "new man". Notice Ephesians 4:22-24. "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." We are each responsible to encourage and feed the new man that is born of the Spirit, and starve, repress, discourage the unregenerate old man. The old man tells us that we are going to die if we do not eat a bowl of bean soup. Our new man tells us that we have been saved from bean soup. One bowl of bean soup leads to another, then another, then another, and in time, we will explode!

We have a problem however as we live in this fallen, fleshly world system. Everyday we are surrounded by the aroma of bean soup. Everyday we see billboards advertizing bean soup; commercials on television tempting us with a hot, savory bowl of bean soup; music videos which tell us that it is alright to eat bean soup, it is hip to like bean soup, that anybody who is anybody eats bean soup. The number one rock video features Britney Spears seductively singing, "Be My Bean Soup Baby!" The latest scientific study tells us that people who eat just one bowl of bean soup a day actually live longer. The experts on religion are saying that those who abstain from bean soup are fanatics, they are legalists.

If we neglect the Word of God, the voice of Godís indwelling Holy Spirit, and the church, if we ignore our spiritual man, and focus upon the message of this world, it will not be long before we are eating bean soup! Our focus must be on God and His Word. We must live in this world, but we must not be of it, and we had better not love it.

Galatians 6:7-8. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

SECOND, ESAU SAW AND SEIZED UPON THE OPPORTUNITY TO REBEL AGAINST GODíS AUTHORITY.

Genesis 26:34-35. "And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith (yeh-ho-deeth') the daughter of Beeri (be-ay-ree') the Hittite, and Bashemath (bos-math') the daughter of Elon (ay-lone') the Hittite: 35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah. Notice Genesis 27:46. "And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?" When it came time to consider taking a wife, Esau did not consult his parents, but rather departed from the practice of his parents, and chose wives of the Canaanites. This action on the part of Esau brought grief to both Isaac and Rebekah. Why? It was an unequal yoke. The Hittites were not a part of the people of God. They did not know and serve the God of Abraham, in fact, they were idol worshipers as were all the Canaanites.

Before we move on, we need to state that it is never Godís will for Christians to knowingly marry a lost person. This is referred to in the New Testament as an "unequal yoke." The apostle Paul warns in II Corinthians 6:14-15, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?"

If Esau had sought the advise and blessing of his parents, they would have protested his marrying among the Canaanites. If you remember, Isaacís father Abraham sent his servant to find him a wife among his people. Certainly Esau knew that story. This was the way his parents would have it! Esauís choice to marry against the advise and will of his parents was nothing less than rebellion.

We also notice that Esau chose two wives which was a willful violation of Godís plan and pattern for marriage. Godís plan and pattern for marriage is one man for one woman for one lifetime.

Esau did not possess a Bible as we do. The Word of God was spoken at that time, however Esau was not without the revelation of God. There was no nation Israel and no church, however he had a home and a father who was placed there by God as a priest leading his family in the right paths. The voice of God and the authority of God was in the home of Esau and with his parents. When he opposed his parents, he was opposing God!

Romans 13, tells us that all authority comes from God. Notice Romans 13:1-2. "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." The word "powers" used here in the Greek is exousia ex-oo-see'-ah and it means authority. Parents are the ministers of God. They are to represent God. This is why parents are not to abuse their authority. Children are commanded to obey their parents, and parents are not to provoke their children to wrath! A rebel in the home against godly parents, is a rebel against God!

Esau teaches us here that we cannot rebel against God and win. We may get our way for a while, but in time God will have His way, He will have the last say.

THIRD, ESAU SAW AND SEIZED UPON THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET REVENGE.

Genesis 27:41-46. "And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. 42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; 44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away; 45 Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?" It is obvious that Esau chose to focus upon the offense, what seemed to be a great injustice in his life. Esau chose the opportunity to get revenge, rather than view it as an opportunity to accept the will of God in his life. Esau was so full of hate, that he sought to kill his brother. This was a legitimate threat to Jacob, and both his parents realized it.

It is interesting to note in verse 42, that Esau drew comfort and consolation as he entertained the thought of killing his brother Jacob. It says, "And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee."

This is why vengeance is so enticing. It offers us a sense of alse comfort. As we feed upon our anger, hate, bitterness, it is soothing at the time, and offers itself as a solution to our dilemma. Getting even seems to be a reward in and of itself.

When we continually focus upon and feed our grievances, our hurts, they grow and eventually control us! In 1992 a Lady Sarah Graham Moon, age fifty five, was dumped by her British aristocratic husband. In an effort to get even, she poured gallons of paint on her husbandís cherished BMW as it was parked in his girlfriendís driveway; cut four inches off the left sleeve on thirty two of his custom tailored $1,600 Saville Row suits; and gave away sixty bottles of her husbandís finest wine. Inspired by her actions, another lady in the same situation wrote her and told her that she cleaned the toilet with her husbandís toothbrush, then watched with delight as he brushed his teeth.

It was reported that another lady became suicidal when she learned that her husband was cheating on her. She jumped to her death from their third floor apartment in Prague. Surprisingly she survived the jump, because she landed on her husband and killed him instead!

Listen, we are to never give in to the passion of hate, bitterness, and revenge, no matter how justified we may feel. Getting even is never a solution because it is never satisfied. It locks us into a cycle of vengeance and emotions that will destroy us. There is freedom in forgiveness. Forgiving someone does not mean that we condone what happened, but it sets us free from responding with like in kind.

The apostle Paul says in Romans 12:17-21, "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

A woman who was transformed by her conversion said, "I have an uncle I used to hate so much, I vowed that I would never attend his funeral. Now, I would attend his funeral any time."

When we forgive people, the bad relationships and difficult people in our lives will not go away, however the acid of hate and bitterness will.

FOURTH, ESAU SAW AND SEIZED UPON THE OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEMPT TO APPEASE GOD AND HIS PARENTS.

Genesis:28:6-9. "When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; 7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram; 8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; 9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath (makh-al-ath') the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth (neb-aw-yoth'), to be his wife."

It is as if Esau sees and understands that he made a mistake. His decision to marry the two wives of Canaan was wrong and has brought nothing but grief to his parents. In an effort to get in better standing with his parents, and perhaps even regain his birthright and blessing, Esau decides to take a third wife.

This time he chooses a woman a little closer to what his parents could accept and get along with. Esau finds a wife from the descendants of Ishmael. This certainly is a better choice, but the covenant promise did not pass through the descendants of Ishmael. Esau tries to do what Godís people do in attempt to gain favor. He will not do precisely what God requires, but something close, something like it. He will not entirely give up the world and put God first in his life, but he will make a show, a pretense, in an effort to get what he wants. This happens all the time. There are people who will turn over a new leaf for a period of time, only to go back to their old paths as soon as they get what they want. There are lost men who will go to church a few times, even make a profession of faith, get baptized and join a Baptist church, in an effort to satisfy his fiancee, and get her parents, as well as her preacher off his back.

Well, it did not work. Esau did not fool his parents or God. His actions did not regain his birthright or his blessing.

Listen, motives mean everything to God. He looks upon the heart. False professions, insincere service, never fools God. If it is not real, it is not recognized by God!

How many people do you think a wash rental car before they return it? If you guessed that almost nobody does that, you are right. Why? They do not own it! The motivation of ownership is missing. It is the same with how we treat faith or church. If we treat faith, spiritual things, church, like a rented car, it is because it is not ours.

It is just something to do, to use at our convenience. However, when our faith becomes ours, when it is part of us, we are motivated to treat it differently. It is no longer pretense, it is precious.

WHAT ESAU SAW eventually determined his lfe. What are we seeing?

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