Genesis 25:21-23, “And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”
Jacob and Esau were representative of two types of people. These men were opposite and contrary to one another in their very natures. One sought the flesh and the other the Spirit. Esau was first born and as such had the birthright to the promises of God (Gen 25:25). God had promised their grandfather, Abraham, that He would make a mighty nation out of his descendants and bless them greatly. This promise was passed down to Isaac and would have passed to Esau.
Genesis 25:29-34, “And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 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.”
Esau clearly sought the things of the flesh. Esau had complete disregard for the precious promise of God and was willing to trade it for a momentary fleshly comfort. Esau’s casual approach in sacrificing the promise of God for something trivial (one meal) showed his love of self and hatred toward God and the Lord’s purposes.
Most people seek self everyday with little regard for God in their lives. Romans 8:7-8, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Those who seek the flesh are given over to a reprobate mind (degenerate, good-for-nothing-eternal, abandoned in sin, lost to virtue or grace, impure, rejected of God, Rm 1:28-32).
Jacob, on the other hand, realized the value of the promise of God and denied the flesh (his meal) for a future hope that was yet to be realized (faith). Jacob sacrificed self for God. Romans 8:5, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” Esau was after the things of the flesh and Jacob was after the promise. Romans 9:8, “That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”
Esau was rejected of God. He represented those who are in rebellion to God through the devil’s lie. The devil told man in Eden that he could transgress the will of God and seek his flesh (be as gods, Gen 3:5) and not die (ye shall surely not die, Gen 3:4). Most men will seek the things of the flesh and thereby transgress the will of God. This is the great damnation; just doing “your” thing everyday rather than being yielded to God and led of His Spirit daily (Rm 8:14, Gal 5:18).
Jacob sought God’s promises (reconciliation to God) through faith. Faith bypasses the flesh and is the strength of the Spirit. God’s promises cannot be seen, felt or controlled by the flesh, but are realized through belief, submission, patience and obedience. The flesh through lusts (food in this case) seeks its will instantly (now). The flesh wants immediate satisfaction – it wants to rule (ye shall be as gods).
Most men are submitted to and obedient to the flesh rather than God. We must not let sin reign in us by obeying the lusts thereof (Rm 6:12). Faith through the Spirit reaches beyond the flesh and surrenders to God’s will (Gal 3:14, 5:5). Faith will deny the flesh in obeying God’s will. We must yield ourselves unto God through righteousness (Rm 6:13).
Esau and Jacob struggled even in the womb. The two natures struggle even now (Ps 37:32). Galatians 4:29, “But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.” Proverbs 29:27, “An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.” The flesh and the Spirit are opposed to one another. Galatians 5:16-17, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
God will not be approached through the flesh, only through faith (Heb 11:6). Romans 9:13, “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” We must beware: Hebrews 12:16-17, “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane (irreverent, disrespectful, wicked, sacrilegious) person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” Most will seek the flesh in this life and then repent and cry before the throne of God where they will have no place. God knows who are His (Jn 10:3, 14, 27, 2 Tim 2:19). Romans 8:12-14, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”