Esau the Fraud—Like Many “Religious” People

Genesis 33:9, I have enough. Esau’s positive response to Jacob is proof that he cared nothing for his birthright nor for the covenant Elohim had made with his father or grandfather. Esau was a worldly man and materialism was the chief aim of his life, not seeking higher spiritual pursuits. 

In the twenty years that the two brothers hadn’t seen each other, Elohim had prospered Esau who was now wealthy; he didn’t need Jacob’s gifts, which were substantial, for he already had enough wealth such that these gifts seemed a small thing to him. This is why he declared that he had enough already and encouraged Jacob to keep the gifts. 

Had Esau grieved over loosing his birthright, he’d still have had a grudge against Jacob. But the fact is that Esau had never cared about his spiritual inheritance in the first place, which is why he sold his birthright for a bowl of food; he cared only about inheriting the substantial wealth of Isaac, his father. In the course of time when substantial wealth accrued to Esau, the birthright was no longer an issue. His dramatic act over losing his birthright was merely pretense that revealed the true motives of his heart, which were purely physical and not spiritual, as evidenced twenty years later by his statement in this verse, “I have enough.” 

In reality, though physically wealthy, Esau was spiritually a destitute man, for he lacked and even spurned the true riches of heaven. As a secular and carnally-oriented man, he preferred the immediate gratification of the material blessings of this life, rather than the delayed gratification of the higher and true riches from heaven—something both his father, grandfather and brother had chosen (Heb 11:10, 16). The beautiful thing is that because the patriarchs had all sought first the kingdom of Elohim and his righteousness, they also received physical blessings here and now (Matt 6:33). Esau, on the other hand, received only physical blessings, but lost out on the greater wealth of spiritual and eternal rewards and blessings.

There is much to learn from this story. One thing is this. Many people put on religious fronts, airs and pretenses for show to impress those around them, but it’s only for selfish, personal gain. With their mouths they may say one thing, while their actions, reveal the true intent of their hearts. That’s why Scripture instructs the saints to be like their Father in heaven and to not judge people and things by their appearance, but by the fruits (Matt 7:15–20). This is called judging righteously (John 7:24; 2 Cor 2:15).


1 thought on “Esau the Fraud—Like Many “Religious” People

  1. I find it interesting that Esau comes with 400 men-didn’t the Israelites spend about 400 years in captivity? Doesn’t it seem like they too have had enough?

Share your thoughts...