Summary: What’s wrong with being godless? If you can answer that question, you can avoid the tragedy that took Esau’s future away from him.
OPEN: A man filled his car with gas at a self-service gas station. After he had paid and driven away, he realized that he had left the gas cap on top of his car. He stopped and looked and, sure enough, it was gone. He thought for a second and realized that other people must have done the same thing and that it was worth going back to look by the side of the road since even if he couldn’t find his own gas cap, he might be able to find another one that fit.
Sure enough, after only a short time of searching, he found a gas cap. He carefully wiped it off and slipped it into place with a satisfying click.
Climbing back into the car he turned to his wife and said, "I may have lost my gas cap, but I found another one that fits… and this one’s even better than the cap I lost!
“Oh,” she asked sweetly, “why is this one better
He smiled a self satisfied smile and replied “This one locks!"
(pause) Think about it for minute. He picked up a gas cap that he thought was a great replacement for the one he had because this one locked. But now he has a problem.
What’s the problem?
He hasn’t got a key!
Without the key that cap is going to require major surgery before the man can get any more gas in his tank. That gas cap was more than just worthless… it was WORSE than worthless.
In our text this morning, God tells us that this was essentially the same problem Esau had. Esau had lost his gas cap… he had LEFT the God of his father and grandfather by the side of the road. But that didn’t bother him because he found what he thought was a great replacement.
Instead of serving God of his ancestors, he decided to be… godless.
Hebrews tells us Esau’s decision was not a good one.
This replacement cap Esau chose was WORSE than worthless.
In rejecting God, Esau had brought more harm than help to his life.
Hebrews 12 commands us “See that no one… is GODLESS like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.” Heb 12:16-17
Esau was a godless man.
And because he was godless he brought heartache and regret into his life.
Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Esau, let me retell his story for you.
When the Jews talk about their great ancestors they’d often talk of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Esau was the twin brother of Jacob… and actually the oldest son of Isaac.
Scripture tells us that as they “… grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. Genesis 25:27
Esau was a “man’s man”.
One part of Scripture says Esau had chest covered with hair. In fact his whole body was hairy. And he was an outdoorsman, a skilled hunter.
Esau was one of the original “good ol boys”.
By contrast, Jacob was NOT a man’s man.
Jacob was a momma’s boy.
But Jacob was actually the smarter of the two sons.
The meal Hebrews refers to is a reference to the story found in Genesis 25:29-34
“Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.
He said to Jacob, ‘Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!’ …
Jacob replied, ‘First sell me your birthright.’
‘Look, I am about to die,’ Esau said. ‘What good is the birthright to me?’
But Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’ So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.”
Esau’s birthright was his inheritance as the first-born son.
In those days, the standard practice of dealing with an inheritance was that the oldest son became the executor of the will. As compensation for that duty, he was given twice as much as any other heir of the deceased. Thus, if Esau hadn’t sold his birthright to Jacob, he would have received 2/3s of their father’s inheritance and Jacob would have received the remaining 1/3. What Jacob was asking Esau for was to surrender his right as the executor to him. Thus, Jacob would receive twice as much from the inheritance now as Esau.
ILLUS: Essentially, that would be like saying that two brothers divided up a $30,000 inheritance. The older brother (according to the will) would receive 20,000, and the younger 10,000. But one day the older brother comes home, smells some soup and decides that he’s so hungry he’s willing to give up $10,000 for that meal.