Introduction Sbongiseni Khumalo
We welcome our overseas visitors and those who have joined us for this day.
Sometime ago a person shared with me what was on her heart. Do people share things with you or are you too big for that? Someone else also spoke to me about the same word.
When I was younger, I dreaded this word. When you read certain verses in the Bible, they should shake you. The devil wanted me to believe that I was like Esau. It is hard to live under such condemnation. Be careful not to despise God when He speaks to you. Today, I preach about this topic with joy and freedom because when the Lord saves a person, it is grace.
Allow me to read and express what others have shared with me.
29 Jacob was boiling pottage (lentil stew) one day, when Esau came from the field and was faint [with hunger]. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, I beg of you, let me have some of that red lentil stew to eat, for I am faint and famished! That is why his name was called Edom [red]. 31 Jacob answered, Then sell me today your birth right (the rights of a firstborn). 32 Esau said, See here, I am at the point of death; what good can this birth right do me? 33 Jacob said, Swear to me today [that you are selling it to me]; and he swore to [Jacob] and sold him his birth right. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau scorned his birth right as beneath his notice. (AMPC) Genesis 25:29-34
If you stand before the decision to sin or not, do you also feel tired, give in and sell your birth right?
Esau was the heir. He had God-given rights as the firstborn.
16 That no one may become guilty of sexual vice or become a profane (godless and sacrilegious) person as Esau did, who sold his own birth right for a single meal. (AMPC) Hebrews 12:16
Esau was a sexually immoral and godless man but he was not the only one. Eve was instructed not to eat the fruit in the garden. She sold her place in the garden for food. Fruit or food was involved with both people. Judas was with the Lord at the supper table and He said that the man who dipped his hand with Him into the bowl was the betrayer. These events relate to the evil food we eat which the body desires. The cravings and desires which come from an earthly nature. To do what your body wants is dangerous. In Psalm 23 David says that the Lord prepares a table for us before our enemies but Satan also does this. From which table do you eat? You cannot eat food from the Masters’s table and food from the enemies’ table. This is why do not make spiritual progress.
When Esau was born, he was red all over. He was called Edom because he was red. He wanted the red lentil stew. Lentil stew came from Egypt which is where the best quality was produced at that time. Many loved that food. When the children of Israel left Egypt, they longed for the food of Egypt - the evil food they ate there. Human nature longs to eat food that should not be eaten. Do you long back?
Someone said, ‘Today across the world, the bowl of red porridge still exists. That bowl is called socialism/communism.’ Will we trade out godly heritage as free people for that red porridge? There is nothing as red and evil as communism. It is enveloping the world. Do we want to give up our Chirstian heritage so we can eat this red stew? Communism is planned and pushed by an elite group of people in the world. Karl Marx said, ‘I will draw all men into hell and when they are there, I will laugh at them.’ The blood of Christ is also red, but the devil has found a way to spoil what God does.
Whatever is associated with Esau is red. He was red and he was attracted to the red stew. You will be drawn to things in your life that are you. You will see in others what you are but when Christ comes, He makes everything new. You will be drawn to things that are in your heart. You will be drawn to gossipers because you are one. You will be attracted to drug addicts because you want it. You like to point at others but that is exactly what you are like.
Esau was drawn to this warm stew which satisfied him momentarily. You will be drawn to things because you are lukewarm. If you are red hot for the Lord, no flies will sit on you. If Christ is present no fly can sit on a person.
12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh. 13 For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever. (AMPC) Romans 8:12,13
Paul is clear - eat the red stew and you will die. If you live according to the Spirit, you can conquer the flesh.
Esau was tired and hungry. ‘How long have I tried and fought? It does not work.’ This is where Satan wants you. He will put the red stew in front of you. An impure, godless life has to do with sexual immorality. The Jews have a tradition regarding the life of Esau. He was known for the life he lived. With Esau the stew came at the end of the story.
Today I heard of a man who did not want his wife to join the church and preach the gospel at this mission. He had an accident and lost a leg. One day Rev Stegen felt led to go to a particular place. Who did he meet there? This man who denied his wife, opposed God and lost his leg as a result. This man had had a puncture. When Rev Stegen stopped, he asked him how he knew that he was there. The man gave his life to Christ. How could he continue fighting against God? He used his chance.
Esau hunted because his father wanted venison but, on that day, Esau did terrible things. He was sent to hunt but was busy with other things. He disregarded what God taught them – the God of Abraham and Isaac. Despise God and His word and watch out! Esau was like that. What is known about him was written down as part of history. On that day he lay with a woman who was betrothed to another man i.e. he raped a woman. He married foreign women which was unacceptable to his parents. He was disobedient. He did what he wanted to do. He could not bow.
If something looks attractive to the eye and good to eat, it is dangerous. Paul says deaden those things, kill them through Christ in your life.
Esau lived his own life. That day, it is said, he killed a person, he committed idolatry, he desired the death of his father and wished to murder his brother, Jacob. A person who is the oldest, the first, although everything belongs to him, he wants to take it by force. Esau was going to inherit everything, but he wanted it earlier. People are like that today. When he arrived home, he must have been exhausted. His conscience and soul were tired because of the evil he was busy with. He must have been bitter man. Things happened which he knew his parents did not like. He became bitter because of that. People become bitter because their parents/grandparents are strict. The root of bitterness is evil. You cannot fathom it. Bitterness defiles lives, it destroys friendships, families and the future of the bitter individual. It is no wonder Esau had no future in God’s plan. Bitterness is like cancer; it devours its host. A grudge will not kill your enemy, but you. You may have physical problems because of a grudge. (Don’t tell the doctor that you cannot sleep; tell him that there are things boiling in your heart that keep you awake. You may not need medication after all.) When we sin, we feel guilt, but when others sin against us, we feel bitter. Bitterness is always based on someone else’s actions. What is your heart like? What rises in your heart when someone says something? Bitterness creates your imagination and takes your brain and runs away with it. You cannot believe that the other person does not mean evil against you. Therefore, bitterness is called a root. A root becomes roots. When you speak, you spit out gore. The other person does not realise this, but you do.
Esau despised what God had given him, which we can understand better. It is so important - we cannot stress it enough - confess your sins, make right and keep your heart clean. This will stop you from ending where Esau did. Do not do things like Esau, you may not have a chance to repent. Esau reached the point of no return. The devil knows how to get people onto their bellies. Esau said he was tired. He tried and he did what he did. ‘What’s wrong with me?’ you say, ‘It’s not worth it anyway. I have tried.’ In Psalm 73 Asaph asked whether he had kept himself pure in vain. Esau gave in and jumped the gun. He thought he could do with the birth right what he wanted but God said ‘No, things go according to My rules.’
We read about Jacob in Genesis 25:27 and before that we hear of his birth. God knew Esau, as he knew Cain. Both were given chances, but they despised them. In God’s eyes you have no rights.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a cunning and skilled hunter, a man of the outdoors; but Jacob was a plain and quiet man, dwelling in tents. (AMPC) Genesis 25:27
Jacob was a normal person which is how he saw himself. Esau knew himself to be something, to be cunning, a hunter. He was superior to his brother who just cooked at home. If you have the attitude of Esau, you will go wrong. You are only something because of what God has lent you by His grace.
Jacob was different. He wanted something desperately. He obeyed his mother. He had to do something impossible, but he obeyed his mother implicitly. If you have a good strict mother, thank God for her. Such a mother is gold the Bible says. You may be today what you are because you despised your mother’s upbringing. Jacob’s mother could not have children which was God’s way of dealing with her heart so that she could raise children in the way she did. Mothers who love the Lord do not want anything that is wrong. Your mother knows what you are doing even behind closed doors even a good father will know exactly what you are doing. Jacob desired more than ever the God of his father and grandfather. Desire such a heart. Ask God to give you a heart that will serve and seek Him. Jacob sought God and wrestled with Him. This was the difference between Jacob and Esau. God spoke to Jacob. He could not speak to Esau because there was sin in his life.
And God said to Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. And make there an altar to God Who appeared to you [in a distinct manifestation] when you fled from the presence of Esau your brother. 2 Then Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, Put away the [images of] strange gods that are among you, and purify yourselves and change [into fresh] garments; Genesis 35:1,2
Jacob cleansed himself. He put away that which was not right. He even instructed his family. We get a glimpse of what his life was like. It is no wonder that Satan hates it when we come to Christ to cleanse ourselves.
Finally, a story. A widow had one small child whom she loved dearly. One day, however, things changed. A man entered her life, and she loved him. Her love was divided between the child and the man. Is there a foreign man in your life even if you are married? The relationship between her and the man developed. The happy child was in between. They decided to marry. (Not to live together like the red porridge of this world. That way of life comes from the pit of hell. That is the life of Esau. He loved the stew of sexual immorality. This is the reason some people speak so much because they try and cover up what is wrong in their lives – the sin of Esau?) They day before the wedding, the man said to the woman that he did not want to marry her with the child. He said that he could not look after someone else’s child. This came as a shock to the woman. She always assumed the man would take them both. But she slowly got used to the idea and devised a plan. She asked the man to drive her to a particular cliff with her child. The woman took the child to the top of the cliff and played with the child as she contemplated whether to throw the child over. She could not do it at first but women have more guts than men. She looked at the man and then child and eventually made the decision and threw the child over the cliff. Then she slowly returned to the man. The man climbed into the car and started it. ‘Why are you leaving me here?’ she asked. He said, ‘How can I marry a person who kills her own child? You may treat our children in the same way one day.’ You may think, ‘What an evil woman!’ But if you abort your child, you are just as evil as that woman.
Esau gave his inheritance away. He took something that belonged to God and gave it away. Like a person who wants to be a Christian but also do his own thing. Esau lost everything in an instant but we can gain everything in an instant.
The devil might tempt you with alcohol and you must make a choice between God or alcohol. You cannot leave it. (Even baboons do not drink alcohol.) Examine your life. Is there any evil in your heart that will result in greater evil? Is there a grudge or an evil eye which will result in something more. Allow Christ to work in your life so it can be fruitful and you can grown in grace like Jacob.
Conclusion Albu van Eeden
Allow me to mention one aspect of Jacob. There is the possibility that Jacob wanted the birth right not because he had a selfish desire for it or wished the honour of it or something for himself out of it, but because of a sense of responsibility. I have never heard a sermon about this possibility. We are all so selfish and proud that we immediately interpret Jacob’s actions as we would behave. Jacob may have realised that if Esau got the birth right, he would destroy the blessing of God that came from their ancestors.
Never underestimate the fact that Jacob was a young boy. There are young people who live godly lives and the world cannot fathom how the brains of these young people work. They are young people to whom God has revealed Himself in amazing ways and it is hard to believe that such a young people can live such holy lives.
God revealed to the Joseph, the youngest in the family at that stage, that his parents and brothers would bow to him one day. Why did God give this dream to Joseph? People would say, ‘God, you cannot tell him that because he will become proud and think something of himself. He will become rebellious and cheeky.’ His father even reprimanded him for what he said. God must have known what a pure heart Joseph had. He could entrust that knowledge to him at that age and it would not cause him to become proud and rebellious.
Jacob may have been the same. He lived such a pure life. Yes, he had to confess that his name was Jacob and there were other things he had to go through, however, there may have been a responsibility to take care of the birth right because he realised that it would go lost.
We are blessed to have leaders like Jacob and Joseph. I am blessed to know men and women with hearts like Jacob. The world interprets their actions as selfish, to obtain gain and honour for themselves. The world totally misses the point because they cannot imagine how such people from their youth have been blessed by God. The world paints them black because they interpret their actions the way everyone else in the world would act.
Friends, we should not tell our children what they should not do. Young people do not just stop being an Esau but become a Jacob that God can reveal himself to in a special and mysterious way which the rest of the world knows nothing about. Satan cannot give you that unselfish humility that Jacob and Joseph had but he can give you wealth, honour and everything else. God only can give you the amazing unselfish humility of these two men. Be careful if you deal with a man and woman of God, you may look at their lives and interpret them the way you think, but you have the wrong end of the stick.