Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Jacob and Esau – Patriarchs and Prophets
Jacob and Esau – The Beginning of the End
.Isaac: Birthright and Bad Bargains
Mystery of History – pages 48-49
*Think about it –
No one likes to be told that they smell, that is that they stink. The deodorant industry makes multiplied millions because of this. So do the makers of toothpaste, breath mints, cologne, perfume, and gum. In short, it stinks to stink.
Now listen to the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16:
- For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.
- To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
The NKJV renders the word savor as “aroma”. The ESV says, “fragrance”. This is an interesting analogy that Paul here employs. He is saying, in essence, ‘when we live for Christ, we smell like life, we smell good; but when we live for this world we smell like death, we smell bad. Our witness is here communicated as how we smell to others. When others see us, does the sweet fragrance of preparing for heaven waft into their nostrils, or is it the stink of a life-centered worldliness and immediate indulgence. Can others tell that you are planning to live forever in the company of holy angels?
- Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Now listen to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:47-49, speaking of Adam:
- The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
- As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
- And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Paul is here referencing not only Adam’s beginnings (made of the earth), but also his choices. He chose the things of this earth over the things of God. In these two senses he was earthy. This is why God told him in Genesis 3:19: “for you are dust and to dust you shall return”. God was basically saying: ‘You chose the earth, and you will get it.’
Adam’s indulgence made him smell earthy – worldly.
In Genesis 27:27 – How did Isaac recognize what he thought was Esau? By his smell! How did he smell? Like a field, like the earth.
He, like Adam, smelled earthy. The symbolism here should not be missed. Paul says our witness is like a smell. We either smell like life or death. Like this earth or the earth to come.
Are you like Esau, living for the moment at the expense of the glorious future God has planned for you? Are you selling your birthright for a pot of stew, a worldly novel, a worldly television show, a worldly movie?
Are you living for the pleasure of patience or for immediate indulgence?
Do not be like Esau and his ilk – meaning Esau or the kind of person he was.
Mystery of History 48-49