HATED: G3404, miseō, mis-eh'-o
From a primary word μῖσος misos (hatred); to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less: - hate (-ful).
For the longest time I could not understand why God HATED Esau. I thought that “hated” might be too strong a word and I speculated that the word “hated” might not be the right interpretation of the Hebrew word, but when I looked the word up, it appeared that “hated” was the perfect interpretation of the word!
Mal 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
Mal 1:3 And I HATED Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
HATED: H8130, śânê', saw-nay'
A primitive root; to hate (personally): - enemy, foe, (be) hate (-ful, -r), odious, X utterly.
Not only did God HATE Esau, but it seems like God HATED Esau’s descendants as well.
What was it about Esau that God HATED?
Everything in the story of Esau shows that he “attempted” to be a dutiful son. Esau could be described as a man’s man. From the Bible’s brief description of him in the Book of Genesis, we can probably describe Esau as a rugged outdoorsman, while his brother Jacob could probably be described as soft, or more than likely we would refer to Jacob as a momma’s boy:
Gen 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
When we read about Esau in the Book of Genesis, it becomes pretty obvious that Esau had little or no interest in spiritual things. All Esau really cared about was fulfilling his carnal appetites, regardless of the consequences. If a person tells themselves that they are not interested in spiritual things, they are making a major spiritual decision that will have momentous consequences for all eternity…not only for them, but for their descendants.
At the start of Esau and Jacob’s story, the Bible says that Isaac loved Esau because of the venison he hunted, while Rebekah loved Isaac, who was her favorite son.
Gen 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
The story illustrates that probably everybody has some weakness of the flesh, and Isaac’s main weakness was apparently food! Read the story of the forbidden fruit in the Book of Genesis, FOOD is a major stumbling block for a lot of people! It was FOOD that ended up costing Esau his birthright!
Gen 25:29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
Gen 25:30 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.
Gen 25:31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
Gen 25:32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this BIRTHRIGHT do to me?
What exactly is the birthright?
Deu 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a DOUBLE PORTION of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.
In forfeiting his birthright to his younger brother, Esau gave up--
1. The right of priesthood inherent in the eldest line of the patriarch’s family;
2. The promise of the inheritance of the Holy Land;
3. The promise that in his race and of his blood Messiah should be born. Esau parted with all this because, as he said in the rough, unreflective common-place strain which marks persons of his character even now, and which they mistake for common sense—“He did not see the good of it all.” “What good shall this birthright do me?” The Biblical Illustrator.
It was a low and contemptible thing that Jacob did to his brother Esau, but it is very apparent that Jacob recognized Esau’s lack of appreciation for spiritual things, and it was probably obvious to Jacob that Esau had no appreciation for his birthright or for the God of his parents!
Joh 4:24 God is a SPIRIT: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
When I meditate on this story, I tremble for all the carnal and rash decisions that I have made in my own life. However, I also resolve to NOT allow my carnal desires and appetites to be the primary influence on my future decisions…ESPECIALLY MY SPIRITUAL DECISIONS! I am also confident that if people are regular readers of this blog, they must also have an interest in spiritual things, and they must have an appreciation for God. May God bless us, just like He blessed Jacob!
Although Jacob did not possess a sterling character, he had one thing that Esau sadly lacked, Jacob DID appreciate spiritual things. Therefore, God appreciated Jacob. God witnessed the deal that Esau made to sell his birthright for a mess of pottage, and God honored the deal…much to Esau’s sorrow.
Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Heb 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or PROFANE person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Heb 12:17 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.
PROFANE: G952, bebēlos
1) accessible, lawful to be trodden
1a) of places
2a) unhallowed, common, public place
2b) of men, ungodly
The Book of Hebrews describes Esau as PROFANE, which basically means that he was mainly motivated by his physical appetites, and he had little or no interest in spiritual things. All people fall somewhere on a broad spectrum between nourishing their flesh or nourishing their spirit.
100% motivated by flesh 100% motivated by spirit
↑ ←←←←←←←←←←←←←←← ↑ →→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→↑
Where do your interests fall on this graph?
The Apostle Paul helps us to determine where we are located on the spectrum by giving us a long list of traits that will help us to identify our interests, whether they are physical or spiritual:
Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh LUSTETH against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would.
Gal 5:18 But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties,
Gal 5:21 envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practise such things SHALL NOT inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof.
Gal 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk.
LUSTETH: G1937, epithumeō, ep-ee-thoo-meh'-o
From G1909 and G2372; to set the heart upon, that is, long for (rightfully or otherwise): - covet, desire, would fain, lust (after).
Determining what is motivating us in every circumstance is very serious business because the Apostle Paul tells us that people who primarily gratify their flesh, and people who disregard their spirit SHALL NOT inherit the kingdom of God!
Before we make any major decision, we should ask ourselves the following question…Am I being motivated by my flesh or am I being motivated by my spirit? Our choices and our motivations, whether carnal or spiritual, will determine blessing or cursing, life or death, and heaven or hell!
When Esau realized that he had lost his father’s blessing, he did what comes naturally to carnal people… he decided to kill his brother Jacob.
Gen 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
We see this same plot line over and over in the Bible, the older carnal brother (or older carnal brothers in the case of Joseph) hate and plot against the younger spiritual brother. (i.e. Cain and Abel, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Joseph and his older brothers, etc.). We also see in the Bible, and in our present time, that the carnal people of the world will always persecute and kill the spiritual people of the world. According to Jesus, we will see this story unfold more and more just before His second coming:
Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
Therefore, we can begin to understand why God HATED Esau. Not only was Esau indifferent to spiritual things, but he AND his descendants actively opposed God and persecuted the people who God loved!
Psa 137:6 Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth if I don't remember you, if I don't consider Jerusalem my highest joy.
Psa 137:7 O LORD, remember the people of Edom (ESAU). Remember what they did the day Jerusalem was captured. They said, "Tear it down! Tear it down to its foundation."
Psa 137:8 You destructive people of Babylon, blessed is the one who pays you back with the same treatment you gave us. God’s Word Bible.
It is impossible to straddle the fence when it comes to the knowledge of God and our understanding of spiritual things. Many people believe they are being fair and broad minded by claiming that they are “agnostic”. They claim it is impossible to know if there is really a God, but the Bible emphatically assures us that God is knowable and His existence and His glory are manifestly obvious to anybody and to everybody! Therefore, anybody who claims that they are an agnostic or an atheist is being disingenuous at best or a fool at worst.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Jesus specifically tells us that there is no neutral position when we are dealing with our relationship to Him. If we are not His friend, the default position is that we are His enemy… we CANNOT be an innocent bystander!
Mat 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
Therefore, when Esau expressed His contempt for his birthright, he openly identified himself as the enemy of God.
Finally, we can see that Esau’s flesh was the primary motivating factor because his apparent default position always seemed to be that he would nurture his flesh and neglected his spirit, this is best illustrated by his impulsive decision to marry “several” unbelieving spouses:
Gen 26:34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:
Gen 26:35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
The personal relationships that we cultivate in this life can either help or hinder our walk with God, and there are very few decisions that are more important to our spiritual growth than who we decide to marry. Unfortunately, God does not approve of second or third chances when it comes to who we decide to marry!
Mat 19:4 Jesus answered, "Haven't you read that the Creator made them male and female in the beginning
Mat 19:5 and that he said, 'That's why a man will leave his father and mother and will remain united with his wife, and the two will be one'?
Mat 19:6 So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, don't let anyone separate what God has joined together."
Esau decided that if he messed up on his first and second marriage, then the third time would be a charm. Therefore, he decided to marry a daughter of Ishmael.
Gen 28:8 So when Esau saw that the Canaanite women did not please Isaac his father,
Gen 28:9 Esau went to Ishmael and took as his wife, besides the wives he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth.
We can learn some valuable lessons from Esau’s mistakes. Esau kept compounding his problems because he was a carnal man and he apparently had absolutely zero spiritual discernment. He continued to make the same mistake over and over again. Carnal people tend to forget that when they are in a deep hole, they should stop digging!
When we make an obvious mistake, often the best course of action is to simply to do nothing, and wait until we receive a solution from God.
Isa 30:18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who WAIT for him.
Isa 30:19 For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.
WAIT: H2442, châkâh, khaw-kaw'
A primitive root (apparently akin to H2707 through the idea of piercing); properly to adhere to; hence to await: - long, tarry, wait.
If we find that we are continually making impulsive decisions and messing up our lives and the lives of people around us, we might become a little more introspective and realize that “impulsiveness” is a sign that we are too carnal; that we are not spiritual enough. Fortunately, there is a simple answer to any problem that we might encounter! WE CAN TURN TO GOD!!!
Pro 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Pro 2:7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Pro 2:8 guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.