The Berean Expositor
Volume 11 - Page 73 of 161
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Esau's next evidence of his nature is given by his choice of wives. Jacob had two
wives--but not of choice, yet Jacob's wives were of his kindred, he allowed not his
"generation" to be contaminated, being like Noah "perfect as to his pedigree", for the
Abrahamic blessing involved a "seed". Abraham's care for Isaac's wife will here come
to mind. When Esau was forty years old he married two Hittites! These were "a
bitterness of spirit to Isaac and Rebecca". It is in keeping with Esau's typical character
that his Hittite wife should bear a Hebrew name, "Judith", but her name alone was
Hebrew. Esau, finding that Isaac straitly charge Jacob not to marry one of the daughters
of Canaan and that his own Canaanitish wives were not pleasing to his parents, manifests
the utter incapability of the flesh of doing a spiritual act by taking a wife this time of the
line of ISHMAEL! Oh unhappy man! Judith, Hebrew in name, but not in heart: Ishmael,
son of Abraham truly, but of bondage, not of promise. Esau has many followers in the
religious world to-day, who vainly seek to copy the outward things of faith but manifest
their profanity and their folly thereby. It is but the "form of godliness".
Jacob' words when he meets Esau after their long separation are repeatedly of grace.
When Esau said, "Who are these with thee?" Jacob replied, "The children which God
hath graciously given thy servant". When Esau asks the meaning of the droves he met,
Jacob replies, "These are to find grace in the sight of my Lord". Esau magnanimously
tells Jacob to keep what he has for himself: "I have enough my brother", but Jacob urges,
"If I have found grace in thy sight that the present be received.......because God hath
dealt graciously with me". His parting words with Esau are, "Let me find grace in the
sight of my lord". After this Jacob erected an altar and called in El-eloe-Israel, God, the
God of Israel. We must remember as we read this that Israel at that moment was the one
individual--Jacob. It was Jacob's personal testimony to God Who had so wondrously
kept his word.
The generations of Esau are given, and kings and dukes are in his line. Edom looms
large in the day of judgment, the prophets speak much of its sin and its punishment.
Isa. 63: gives a tragic figure of wrath, but the subject is too great to be dealt with here.
Jacob with his many failings finds many a parallel in the believer to-day. The very
possession of "two natures" in the child of God will manifest itself in an erratic walk
while the flesh is not reckoned dead, while the thigh bone is not out of joint. It is easy to
be worldly-minded in the world, or heavenly-minded in heaven, but to be always
heavenly-minded in the world needs great grace. May we who do not spare our censures
on Jacob's meanness and cunning emulate his desire for the thing that matters most; and
while we sound out the praise of noble generous Esau, take heed that we do not for a
mess of this world's pottage sell our birthright.