In the first post in this series, we looked at the historical context behind the birth of Esau and Jacob to Isaac, and that despite the fact that he had the blessings of his father, Abraham, there were still some recurring challenges he had to overcome.
WHY DID GOD HATE ESAU?
- Esau was a typology and a spirit that God hates.
- It is within His sovereignty to decide to illustrate a point with any person.
- God can see into the future even before our conception. He told Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in thy mother’s womb, I knew you and set you apart as a prophet”.
- Your prayer should be that, by God’s divine mercy, you should not be the object for an inglorious illustration.
What does “hate” mean here?
According to Doug Hershey, writing for Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries, hate, here, is not a strong distasteful anger towards Esau, but an issue of choice and preferences—delight and displeasure. According to Doug Hershey, the Hebrew language is pictographic, that is words are represented by pictorial symbols. Looking at the word, hate, etymologically, the Hebrew word, “sane” (or saw-nay as pronounced) is depicted as a seed and thorns. So Esau was seen as a thorn seed. He was a godly deposit surrounded by tiny prickly thorns that can injure you in your attempt to get close to the seed. It means the preference to avoid pain and injury.
When I was in Kenya, fences in some areas were with thorny shrubs with sharp pricks. Even lions were afraid of those thorns, because if their paws or eyes are injured by those thorns, they might die from the inability to hunt or run fast.
In Urhobo language it might mean akenomakeh (which means to avoid something or someone), or egbobonyen (to be negated or dumped), or ayanjovwoh (to be ignored, neglected, abandoned, or left alone or left behind).
Isaac was preferred to Ishmael, but God still blessed Ishmael and his descendants. Even Esau was not poor after all he passed through; he told Jacob to keep his gifts because God had blessed him.
So what was the issue? It was about today. God wanted to raise a nation like Israel and a resilient, powerful, productive, and intelligent people like the Jews.
Jacob is a typology of the Nation of Israel.
Just as Jacob was struggling with Esau in the womb, so the nation of Israel has been fighting with the Edomites, the descendants of Esau and the descendants of Ishmael and other nations that threaten her existence. It is seen in the anger against the church.
What is the Spirit of Esau?
1. I-don’t-care mentality
Jacob, right from the womb, had a spirit that refused to accept things the way they were. He was always in the pursuit of a better deal and managing opportunities. He bargained for Esau’s birthright and, by implication, his inheritance.
Jacob did not like to settle for less. He laboured for extra 7 years to get Rachael, his best deal. He demanded for his compensations for all the years he had laboured. “Is it not time I should have flocks of my own?“, he asked.
2. Esau didn’t have a consciousness of his territory
This does not sound religiously correct, but in Kingdom principles, you don’t give up territories and positions just like that. Christians in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, are very naive about this territorial contention and need for dominance and control of resources and power.
The Fulani-herdsmen crisis and the control of juicy government positions in the Buhari Government just opened their eyes to sociological reality.
Esau would not have been able to contend with the enemies Jacob—by implication, Israel, as a race—had contended with.
3. He had a probabilistic and fast-lifestyle mentality.
Esau lived a deviant and probabilistic life. Jacob was described as being quiet and dwelt amongst the tents.
Why did Esau decide to become a hunter? They have been shepherds all their lives. It is more stable and predictable to rear animals at home than to shoot and kill animals. Esau was wild and loved the lifestyle of the immediate gratification. It is even a life of immediate gratification without due process. To shoot a deer is far easier than to wait for a sheep or goat to mature.
That is the fast lifestyle responsible for today’s criminality in Nigeria. Fraudsters in Nigeria want to steal money from your account without knowing how hard you worked to save that money. That’s why our students don’t want to read, but they prefer to cheat in examinations. Learning and studies are too tedious and will take too much effort and time.
It is a life of probability and chance happenings. The Nigerian church is an ‘Esauic’ church. Our churches condition our people to hope, expectations, the sudden happening, and the big windfall, without due process. That’s why we like prophecy, the miraculous, the outsourcing of responsibility, and blame game.
We blamed (and still blame) the colonial masters. Now we blame demons, ancestors, old men and women in our villages, etc.
When you see an agricultural consultant, without a farm of his own, always waiting for a chance consultancy service, he/she is like Esau.
In the next post, we’ll look at The Spirit of Esau and Legacy.
God Bless You.