Don’t Be Like Him

See to it that no one becomes like Esau, an immoral and godless person, who sold his birthright for a single meal. – Hebrews 12:16 (NRSV)

Don’t be like Esau!  (reread Genesis 25 for a refresher)  Wow, how would you like to be remembered like that?  I guess there are lots of ways to be famous and plenty of examples in our world today.  (Let your imagination wander for a moment)  But Esau’s choice made him into an example of how not to live and earned him the label of ‘immoral and godless’.

Godless has a fairly straightforward meaning of living without God.  It is used to describe someone who has no interest in God.  But what makes him immoral?

When that word appears in the Bible we normally jump to sexual sins.  We even get the word ‘pornography’ from the Greek word used here.  But there’s nothing in the story about sexual sins.  His immorality is the same as all of our immoral acts.  He had an ‘itch that he had to scratch.’  He put the need to satisfy his immediate and temporal desire ahead of his eternal birthright.  This is immorality.  It manifests itself in all sorts of ways (use your imagination here), but it has the same underlying cause:  not trusting God.

I like to remind couples before I perform a wedding that when they say ‘I do’, they cannot possibly know what they are agreeing to.  There are lots of twists and turns coming in a marriage that you cannot predict or control.  The same can be said about choosing to follow Jesus.  It requires trust of what lies ahead.

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