This Life or the Life to Come
“Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright,” Genesis 25:34
The book of Genesis is full of seed things. These great truths are more fully expanded upon and taught in the New Testament.
Esau was older, by a few seconds or minutes, than his twin brother Jacob and was entitled to the birthright. In this chapter we learn truths from the lives of these two boys. We learn first, truths about the heart of the natural man. We learn also about the heart of the man of faith. These two are contrary the one to the other.
The natural man places no value on the things of God. To the natural man the things of God are vague, valueless, powerless things. The reason for this attitude is because God is not known by the natural man; he has no relationship with God. To the natural man it is the present, visible things that carry weight and influence in his eyes.
What the man of the flesh sees with his physical eyes he holds to be of value. He thinks this way, because he is moved by sight and not by faith. To him the present is everything; the future is not influential in his thinking. The future is only a matter of curious speculation.
That was Esau. Listen to his reasoning in verse 32, “And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?” Consider his perverse thinking, “The present is slipping under my feet, therefore I will forget about the future altogether.”
I have watched this attitude working its way out in the minds and hearts of loved ones over the years of my life. Time is fading from my view, I will therefore forget about my interest in eternity. Oh, with what frustration I have observed this, in the hearts of friends and family.
“Thus Esau despised his birthright.”
“Yea, they (Israel) despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word,” Psalm 106:24.
“And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD,” Zechariah 11:13. Judas chose between the unseen hope of eternal life and the silver he could see and hold in his hand.
“But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise,” Matthew 22:5. They had no interest in the unseen blessings Jesus promised. Material things were as far as they could see.
The natural man has no desire for the things of God. The present is all that fills his vision; the present is everything to him. In Esau’s case, a mess of pottage was better than the title deed to the Promised Land. The very reason Esau rejected his birthright was the very reason he ought to have sought it with great fervency.
The man of faith is the opposite of Esau, the more clearly he sees the vanity of his life the more he clings to the God of the future. “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” 2 Peter 11-13.
The present life is quickly passing away; therefore I will seek the God of the future and His promise of an eternal future. The choice is always between this life and the life to come.
David said, “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity,” Psalm 5:5. That explains the verse that says, “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated,” Romans 9:13. After God has sought the sinner in love and mercy, after the sinner has finally rejected God’s love and mercy and has set his heart and his course away from God. God hates that sinner and separates him from His presence forever. Jacob loved God and sought His blessing, and God responded in love toward him. Esau hated God and turned his face away from God and God in response hated Esau.
Do not fashion a God that does not exist. Do not fashion a God to your own liking, a God who will never stop loving you, even though you would persist in your sin and disobedience to Him. The scriptures clearly teach that God hates sin and God always judges unrepentant sin. That message is on every page of the Old Testament and is also the heart of the message of Christ.
How wonderful to have a relationship with the God of the future; and to have the promise of all the future blessings He has pledged.
Is your focus on this life or on the life to come? "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple," Luke 14:33.
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). "
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).