30 After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, ‘My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.’32 His father Isaac asked him, ‘Who are you?’‘I am your son,’ he answered, ‘your firstborn, Esau.’33 Isaac trembled violently and said, ‘Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him – and indeed he will be blessed!’34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, ‘Bless me – me too, my father!’35 But he said, ‘Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.’36 Esau said, ‘Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: he took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!’ Then he asked, ‘Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?’37 Isaac answered Esau, ‘I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?’38 Esau said to his father, ‘Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!’ Then Esau wept aloud.39 His father Isaac answered him,‘Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother.
But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.’” NIV
‘’When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, ‘’Bless me – me too, my father!’’ (34).
Doesn’t your heart almost break for him? How sad and pathetic this cry of bitter regret. The book of Hebrews exhorts us:
‘’See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears’’ (Hebs.12:16,17).
F.B.Meyer writes about verse 34:
‘On this incident the writer to the Hebrews founds the impressive lesson, that the choices of the past may cast a bitter and irrevocable shadow on all our future…Because of the cravings of appetite – in an evil moment Esau yielded to these…and found afterwards that the choice made in that hour was irrevocable…’
Someone observed that we make our decisions and our decisions turn around and make us.
Another said, ‘How sad it is to have to live with the consequences of forgiven sin.’
It’s not a question of whether or not the sin may be forgiven. If we are truly repentant it will be. But the consequences of a bad decision can haunt us for the rest of our lives. Although what Esau said in verse 36 was partially true, we know it was not the full picture. Certainly, Jacob was a deceiver. But had he really ‘’taken’’ Esau’s birthright and blessing? Is it not rather the case that, as Hebrews says, he ‘’sold’’ them? At such a poor price too. So his painful, bitter regret was self-inflicted.
PRAYER: Lord God, recognising that my choices have consequences, I ask you to give me the wisdom I lack. Please guard and guide all my ways, and keep me from wrong turnings.
Thought: ‘Every decision you make becomes a permanent part of your story…you decide one decision at a time, because you write the story of your life…one decision at a time.’ Andy Stanley: ‘Better decisions, fewer regrets’ p.53.