Most of us are familiar with the narrative of Jacob and Esau who were twins. Esau was the firstborn, but as he emerged from the womb, Jacob was holding onto his heel. Esau was very casual about his birthright (traded for a bowl of lentils) and rebellious when it came to following YHVH’s commands (marrying a pagan woman). We recall how Jacob tricked his father into giving him Esau’s blessing as the firstborn son. These stories can be found in Genesis 25-27.
When we read the story of Jacob and Esau, we tend to dwell on the rivalry between the brothers, Jacob’s deception, and family dysfunctions with Isaac favoring Esau and Rebecca favoring Jacob. We focus our attention on Jacob and shove Esau into the background. Do we realize that Esau’s story is our story? Do we comprehend what YHVH (through Isaac) was saying to Esau (and to us)? Let us examine Esau’s blessing closely, for in it lays a gem of hope, the greatest hope for us all.
The blessing consists of three sentences and is translated incorrectly in many English versions. The English Standard Version (ESV) and the New Living Translation (NLT) have a more correct translation. The first sentence, “You will live away from the richness of the earth, and away from the dew of the heaven above.” So far this doesn’t sound like much of a blessing and indeed it isn’t. Esau will not enjoy the abundance and blessings that YHVH provides for us in the earth. Even what he has, he will not enjoy. This is not something new for Esau, because he never really enjoyed or appreciated what he had. He could not see the true value in his blessings.
Although Esau was the firstborn and was entitled to receive a double inheritance, he traded it for instant gratification in a bowl of lentils. His carnal nature, his flesh, dominated his decision making. So it is with us when we are still in sin and in the kingdom of darkness. Even what we have on this earth, we cannot fully enjoy and appreciate while we are blinded by the enemy.
The next sentence of the blessing states, “You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother.” Esau would serve Jacob, his younger brother. What does this mean for us? We live in a world of violence and deception. We end up serving those who are crafty enough to foil us. Our concern is to gain what we can, often by any means, and protect it at all costs.
So where is the hope in all this? It is contained in the last sentence, “But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck.” How was Esau to break free? How are we to break free? We must make the same decision that YHVH presented to Esau. We must choose to stop serving hasatan and the humans who follow the ways of the kingdom of darkness.
When we decide to break free, we can be restored to our birthright which is relationship with YHVH . We have this option because of the love and sacrifice of Yeshua, our Messiah. We throw off the yoke of Satan and accept the yoke of Yeshua. It is an easy yoke. We serve others, not because we are forced to, but out of love and gratitude to YHVH. Our older Brother serves us and we serve Him. Our brothers and sisters serve us just as we serve them. We no longer haggle over the abundance of the earth, but share and enjoy all that YHVH provides, which is far more than enough for us all.
Scripture tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” If you aren’t Yeshua, you fit into this category with all other humans. Whether we know it or not, we are serving Satan when we don’t serve YHVH. Just before I prayed for salvation for myself, I distinctly recall inwardly chafing at the idea of turning my life over to Yeshua and serving Him. The idea of being a servant seemed foreign to me. I thought I was my own person, making my own decisions. Only sometime later would it become crystal clear to me just how much I had been in bondage to Satan all my life. My greatest joy is to serve Yeshua now that I realize all that I have gained by serving Him.
If you have not yet made the decision to break free from the yoke of Satan, do not wait any longer. Perhaps you don’t feel that you are in any type of bondage. You are your own person and you live your life the way you see fit. This was precisely what Esau did when he married a pagan woman. He did not consider YHVH’s commands or his parents’ teachings. This was precisely what I did and my life was a mess before I threw off Satan’s yoke.
Tell Yeshua that you no longer want to work for Satan, but you want to work for YHVH. Tell Him that you are ready to trade your cumbersome yoke of bondage for the easy yoke of Yeshua. Embrace Yeshua’s precious gift of salvation and let Him embrace you with His overwhelming love.