Godless Esau

Heb 12:14-17 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 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; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 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.”

This is why we follow peace and holiness, so we can keep our walls up, to protect ourselves. Many don’t think of Esau as a profane person. He was rejected. He did repent, but he was rejected.

vs 16 “Lest there may be immoral or godless person…” ‘godless, without God.’

Have you ever thought of Esau as a person who didn’t have God? 

Not all godless people are bad. Some godless people have great success. There are some faithful, godless, people, committed workers who are godless. There are godless people who have good marriages and great kids. There have been godless people who have created great things. The air conditioner was invented by an atheist.

Esau is not only dropped in among the godless, he is a picture of the godless. He is dropped in among fornicators. He was a really great son. He did everything his dad told him to do. He was a good husband. He was a neighborly citizen. He was even a good brother, perhaps even a man of morality, self sufficient. He worked and provided for his family. He had a strong physical build and a brave heart. He wasn’t lazy. He didn’t need to depend on other people.

Here’s the problem: even today, we make the assumption of our judgement based on feelings and comparison. The reason we’ve never looked at Esau as godless is because we compare him to Jacob. ‘Poor Esau, look what Jacob did to him?’

We cannot base what is good, godly, etc on our comparison with other people. We are not godly based on what we do. We are godly if we have God who has made us righteous.

The Bible says that none are good and none are righteous. But, in another place it says, ‘The steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord.’ Whose steps are righteous? Whose steps are ordered?

We don’t have righteousness of ourselves. Our righteousness is as filthy rags to God. Our own righteousness by human, moral nature, but that’s not enough to be godly. Measured against somebody else, you might look righteous, but measured against God, the Holy One, do not measure up in the Spirit.

The reason we can call godless Esau good is because we compare him to godless Jacob, who wasn’t all that godless at all. Jacob obeyed God’s directions. With no help, Esau lived on his own. Esau’s grandfather was called the Father of the Faithful. Jacob was blessed by God over and over again. We did not see once Esau praying, worshipping, building an altar.

We see the trickster, liar, Jacob build an altar when he had an encounter with God. Jacob honored God even in his flaws. Esau, as a standup man, never prayed, never built an altar, never worshipped God. Esau chose to live a life without God.

Godless does not mean that God is not in their lives. It means that they don’t want to surrender to Him. They want to do their own thing. Esau was motivated by the love of the world. He cared only what he could control. He just wanted to do what was right by his own standard. He did not take time to care for his soul.

Godless people are like wandering sheep in the dessert without a shepherd. They are helpless and powerless without the hedge of God’s protection. They are self-sufficient and prideful. They want God’s intervention without yielding to His plan.

We want God our way. 

It’s noble to care for your children and work and provide. But, take God out of any one of those things becomes a human effort. Going to work and school and the grocery store is spiritual. Why? Because we are spiritual.

The minute we allow this world to take us from the spiritual, we become humanistic and like Esau. That’s not what the Lord wants.

It’s not just treating people right, it’s so much further than that. Jesus says, ‘turn the other cheek, walk another mile…’

Is it really easier being under grace? Under the law, we follow rules. Under grace, we follow Jesus. It’s judgement by action vs judgement by intention. It’s action vs heart, attitude.

Grace is harder, but we have a Substitute. We don’t have to face the penalty of the law. Under grace we have a Substitute who teaches something greater than law. Law hasn’t gone away. Law is fulfilled in Jesus.

There is still a penalty there. Without Jesus, we face the penalty. We’ve got to live His way, following after Him. We’ve got to be in relationship and worship and surrender to Jesus.

People today want what they want right now. They want only what satisfies the flesh instead of what pleases God. We don’t have to go outside the church to find flesh pleasers. We are still loved by God, but wanting to please our flesh and wanting what we want.

We have the desire to be moral and pay our tithes, but it’s mixed with a desire to please the flesh. We’ve got to surrender. Esau wasn’t surrendered. The one who didn’t lie or steal was godless never surrendered.

There’s no right to do bad things. There is no justifying what Jacob did, but he was forgiven because he surrendered.

It’s not how to have revival, it’s how to keep revival. It’s how to sustain revival. It’s complete and utter surrender to God. You can’t be God’s and your own at the same time. Either you are His or you’re not. It’s one of the other. You can’t have both.

God wants custody, not weekend visitation. God is calling this church to a complete surrender.

The thing about God is He’s gradual. He shows us the target and along the way, He blesses and keeps us. The closer we come, the closer He comes. We may not be where we’re supposed to be, but He’s still walking us through it. Draw near to Him.

Sometimes, His gradual grace makes us comfortable. If we take only two steps toward it, but stop, that’s not good. It wasn’t God’s will for Peter and John to stay up on the mountain. They felt God’s presence and didn’t want to go any further.

Sometimes, we feel the presence and approval of God and stop. Right here feels so good. Don’t stop! Keep going! Always press closer and closer to God. Every day, every day, get closer to God.

Revival is not kept by doing what you did to get there. Often, it’s lost by repeating that. Revival is kept by continually obeying whatever God asks you to do.

God doesn’t say, ‘Keep doing ‘it,’ whatever ‘it’ may be.’ God has a new season for you. He has something else for you. Seek Him and follow Him. Much is required. Sustaining doesn’t happen in the flesh. It happens in surrender.

The enemy of great is good. Don’t stop pursuing GREAT. The enemy of great growth is good growth. Don’t be satisfied with ‘good.’ Keep seeking after Great! Keep surrendering to whatever God asks you to do.

We just want the voice of God.

God has a prophetic and new word for this church. It is time for a new level.

Esau wanted his father’s blessing and was rejected. He traded eternal inheritance for temporary pleasure. Esau fed the hunger of his flesh but ignored the longing of his soul. 

People without God make the wrong decisions bringing major trouble into their lives.

A godless have sent many to jail and prison and broken families. It makes hearts empty. The godless life is empty. Yet, all the human morality doesn’t make up for surrendering to God. Eternal destruction can be our end while we seek to enjoy the pleasures of the world. We need God to manage this life.

Our knowledge is inadequate. We need Someone wiser than ourselves. We need Someone who sees further. We need Someone with real solutions, not a temporary, feel-good fix.

Don’t ever be satisfied with where you’re at. Keep surrendering. Keep worshiping. Keep seeking to be on His side, His will.

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. Why might you ‘stop’ where you’re at in your life? In what ways are you tempted to remain where you’re at? 
  3. Read Luke 9:23-25. How do we put these verses into practice in our lives?
  4. How can you encourage someone else to daily surrender to Jesus and follow wherever He leads?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Joe Guinta.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.