I SAW ESAU: Part 2 of 2
by John Lowe
Folks, the real problem here is why God would say that He loved these people, Israel. But let’s understand one thing: God never said this until Jacob and Esau had become two great nations which had long histories. Therefore, God said that He loved Jacob because of the fact that He knew what was in Jacob’s heart. He knew that here was a man who had a desire for Him and that Esau did not have a desire for Him at all. But it had to be worked out in 1500 years of history before God was prepared to make the kind of statement that He makes here in Malachi. We need to understand that the difference here between loving and hating is simply that the life of the nation that came from Esau, which is Edom, and the life of the nation which cane from Jacob, which is Israel, demonstrates that God was right when He said that He loved the one and hated the other.
All this reveals something that we need to face up to today. We have concentrated so much on the love of God. Do you know that if God loves, God also hates—because you cannot love without hating? As someone has said, love and hate are very close together. If God loves the good, He has to hate the evil—it couldn’t be otherwise—and that is exactly what we find here. The histories of the nation of Israel and the nation of Edom are altogether different. God says that because of Esau’s life, because of the evil which was inborn in this man and which worked itself into the nation of Edom; He is justified in making this statement.
So it is easy to understand why God loved Jacob. But why did God hate Esau?I have tried to answer in generalities, but now I will give you some specifics. The answer is found in the book of Obadiah. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau. They were 250,000 strong at the time of the writing of this book. They had built their stronghold in the side of a mountain. They thought they were impregnable. They had become allies of Israel’s enemies. They were a thorn in Israel’s side. They helped in the plundering and destruction of Jerusalem. The best dating of this book of Obadiah is about 587/586 BC.
Listen to VERSE 6 again: “How Esau has been pillaged, his treasures sought out!” It is a microscope. God is going to put Edom under the microscope and we will see some things that are not visible otherwise. Look, under the microscope and see how it magnifies. There is not just one Esau now - Now there are 250,000 little Esau’s running around. The pimple that was EASU has now become a raging, festering, cancer. What is wrong with Edom? Verse 3 tells us what is wrong with Edom: “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, whose dwelling is high, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
PRIDE - DECEPTION - FALSE SECURITY
I. THEY WERE EATEN UP WITH PRIDE: Folks, WE HAVE LOST OUR PERSPECTIVE OF SIN. Suppose one member of my church is committing adultery or drunk or stoned on drugs, a thief, murderer, etc. However, suppose I told you that one of our members has a proud spirit.
PRIDE IS A DEADLY SIN. Proverbs 6:16-19 declares, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” God definitely says that He hates that. He hates these things, and we ought to put them on our hate list too. You see, God loves, but also God hates. These things are all works of the flesh.
A proud look is the attitude that overvalues self and undervalues others. This is pride. It is that thought of the heart, that little look and that turn of the face, that flash of the eye which says you are better than someone else. God says, “I hate it!” It is number one on His list. He puts it ahead of murder and ahead of drunkenness. God hates the proud look.
Do you know the first overt act of sin in heaven, the original sin, was pride? It was when Satan, Lucifer, son of the morning, Said in his heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isa. 14:13-14). And he is the one who came to man in the Garden of Eden and said, “Ye shall be as gods.”
Proverbs 21:4 states, “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing (work) of the wicked, is sin.” What is a “high look?” Let me explain it like this, since it may have happened to you. You walk into church one Sunday morning and there stands Mr. Jones or Mr. Smith and he turns his head so he doesn’t have to speak to you. Maybe no one else saw that “high look” but God did. God calls it sin, and it is as much of a sin as going out and getting drunk. James 4:6 says, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” This is the kind of container that God’s grace must be carried in; it must be carried in a humble individual.
PRIDE IS AMERICA’S DEADLY SIN. God saves the drunks, prostitutes, the down and out, gutter rat sinner but He resists the proud. LET ME GIVE YOU A DEFINITION OF PRIDE: Pride is the attitude of a life that declares its ability to live without God. Esau said, "I’d rather have a bowl of soup than to be the spiritual leader in my family.” Believe me when I say there are millions that have that same frame of mind today. BUT what about the Edomites?
II. THEY WERE DECEIVING THEMSELVES: They had built their fortress in the mountain. They thought they were impregnable. I am afraid that our nation has believed that our security is in the government, the military and in our human effort. We are only deceiving ourselves if we trust any other power but that of God. That is what we call--
III. FALSE SECURITY. We thought as Americans that we were immune from attack from foreign powers, but 9-11 taught us differently. America’s strength has never been in the war machines that we have built, but in the FAITH we put in our God. Our money says, "IN GOD WE TRUST" and when our nation puts its FAITH in something other than that we will end up like the EDOMITES.
What are you putting your faith in today? If your hand is in anything other than the nailed scarred hand - you have false security. If you believe you can make it without God, you are in the state of Pride.