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37. The Cursed Path of Esau and the Blessed Path of Jacob

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And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.  (Genesis 27:1~4)

The Stories of the Bible that Reveal the Spiritual World

I become very thankful before God when I read Genesis. The stories of Genesis seem like just ordinary stories. However, only a few stories have been selected to be recorded out of the many events that happened on earth at the time Genesis was being recorded. Abraham’s life, Jacob’s life, Joseph’s life . . . . No matter how thick the book, it would not be enough to record all of their lives. God did not simply record stories in the Bible, but did so to have us realize the spiritual meaning inside the stories. When I first began reading the Bible, I simply read through it. But as I read it more and more, the Holy Spirit showed me the worlds of the human heart and the heart of God. I came to know, “Ah, that’s what these words mean!” As the words began to enter my heart, I was able to precisely see my image through the Bible. “That’s how this person was, and his heart is like mine. Ah, this story is about me.” Then I could understand why Christians of the past called the Bible the mirror of the heart. At first I read the Bible as a story; as an incident. But as I discovered the heart of God and my image, which were hidden there, I discovered, “That’s why I was in darkness; that’s why I was distant from God; and that’s why there was a problem between me and God!” and I became freed from those things. It was so amazing how my image was shown in the Bible. The story of Genesis chapter 27, if simply read, appears to be just an ordinary story. Isaac had two sons: Esau and Jacob. To give away the blessings, Isaac called Esau and said, “Take me some venison; and make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.” Upon hearing this, Esau took his quiver and his bow, hunted, made a dish, and brought it before his father. “Father, as you have commanded I have hunted and made a dish for you. Eat, and bless me freely.” The father was stunned. “What! There was one who had just brought something from hunting to me. Who was he?” It was found that Jacob had taken the blessing. How did Jacob receive the blessing? Because Jacob was unqualified to be blessed, his mother made him savoury meat from a kid of the goats, camouflaged Jacob with fur to feel like Esau, and had him blessed through sending him forth using Esau’s name.” From Esau’s point of view, it seems that he had been wronged. All he did was what his father told him: he hunted, made savoury meat, and brought it to his father. But ultimately, the father did not bless Esau but cursed him. “Behold, thy dwelling place shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above, and by thy sword thou shalt live, and shalt serve thy brother . . . .” These words are not merely words. God put his heart into these words. What heart did He put in?

We Who Feel Different from the Word of God

God often speaks to us through the Bible, and Jeremiah 17 tells us, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. I read much of the Bible. After I read these words a few times, I passed them by, thinking, “That’s right. Man’s heart is evil. It is wicked.” But I have never felt the heart of God that called my heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. I thought, in my own way, “I am evil. I am dirty. I’m deceitful. I’m filthy.” That was why, even though I read, memorized, and spoke the Word, my heart was so different from the heart of God. For example, upon hearing, “I’ve eaten,” Koreans will think of rice, dweanjang-soup, and kimchi. Germans may think of eating bread and sausage with wine. Although both are referring to the same word, “eating,” the feelings are completely different. God sees the heart of man and says that it is dirty, evil, and rotten beyond comparison with anything. However, we humans take it as, “Yeah, we humans are all evil. Who isn’t evil?” The wickedness that man calls wicked and what God calls wicked may be said using the same words, but they hold completely different meanings. I, too, thought that I was evil. But I could not feel the evilness in me that God felt. Therefore, I thought, “I am evil. But I’ll be okay if I am good, sincere, and live my spiritual life well from now on.” Then one day, I received the grace of God. I feel that God allowed me to borrow His eyes to see myself and not how I saw myself until then. When I saw myself that day, I was so pitiful, dirty, and filthy. It was beyond comparison with how I had felt about myself up till then. Before, I thought, “So what if I lie a little? Is there anyone who doesn’t lie?” and knew that I was a bit wicked but thought of myself as a good person. That day, however, God allowed me to borrow His eyes, and when He had me see the wickedness He saw and not the wickedness I saw with my own eyes, then I could finally realize how evil I was. “Man is indeed truly dirty! Man deserves to be cursed and destroyed!” When I simply felt that I was evil, I thought if I do good, keep the law, and live spiritual life, I would be able to go to heaven. But when I saw myself through the eyes of God, I was a person who, regardless of what I did, was perfectly fit to go to hell.

In the Eyes of God

People read the Bible. They also have service and pray. But although they are reading the same Scriptures, what they feel and what God speaks of, though they may be using the same words, mean completely different things. Since the world is so dirty and evil, you cannot feel your evilness even though you are evil. You see yourself with the standard of the person next to you because you cannot see yourself through the standard of God. “That man, even though he believes in Jesus and is an elder, is full of baloney. I’m not like him.” That is why people believe themselves to be good. Although you are dirty, you believe that you are not very dirty because you have some good parts. Now, this is where the problem arises. What problem? In the standard of God, we humans are so evil that we cannot become good through human effort. Therefore, God gave up on man becoming good. However, man does not think this way. Man thinks, “Yes, I did sin, I did do some evil. But there is some good in me. If I live an honest and truthful life, I will become holy. I can go to heaven.” In the eyes of God, there is no good in man no matter how much man does good. Psalms chapter 14 says, The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Man is extremely evil in the eyes of God. But since we live amidst the evilness, we think of ourselves to be good, if we are just a little better than others. We do know that we are evil even though we are. Thus, we believe that we can become good if we strive to be good and diligent. People all have this kind of heart. Therefore, they try to do well. That is why God gave the law to man. God did not give you the law for you to keep it and do good and go to heaven. If you try to keep the law, you come to realize how evil and dirty you are. God gave you the law for you to realize, “I can only be cursed and destroyed!” and have you give up on you trying to do good, and have you accept the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, most people do not know this and think that they can go to heaven if they keep the law well.

Bless Me, O My Father!

God wanted to teach us these facts. Today, through the story of “Jacob and Esau,” He wants to teach us about this. Esau listened to what his father said. He said, “Take your quiver and bow, hunt, and make me the savoury meat such as I love. I will eat and bless thee.” Esau listened to his father and went out exactly as he said. He was sweating much as he ran around trying to catch an animal. Catching an animal is no easy task, and bringing home that animal he has caught is also no easy task. Try carrying from deep in the mountains a dead deer, boar, or roe that weighs 200 lbs. How tiring would that be? Esau was drenched in sweat as he caught the animal and cooked it. He made a dish and brought it before his father. Esau said, “Now God made a promise to my grandfather, Abraham, and made a promise to my father. Now I will be receiving that blessing. The blessing that God promised is mine!” and with high expectations, he went before his father. “Father, I have hunted and made savoury meat as you have said. Eat, and let your soul bless me.” Then his father became surprised. “Who are you?” “What do you mean, ‘Who are you?’ Father, you told me that you would bless me if I hunted an animal and made savoury meat. I’m Esau.” The father trembled in shock and spoke. “Then who was the one who brought me venison just a while ago? Who was the one I just blessed upon eating before you came here? He will surely be blessed.” “What? I brought the savoury meat that I hunted and cooked! What do you mean someone was here?” “No, Esau was here before you came. I freely ate his savoury meat and blessed him with all my soul.” “It was Jacob! Only Jacob would do such a thing!” Esau spoke to his father. “Father, do you have even one blessing to give? Father, bless me as well. I did what you said. Bless me also, O my father!” Esau cried and besought his father, but his father refused him. “Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?” Esau lifted his voice, cried, and clung to his father. “Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father!” The father then said this to Esau, “Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; and by thy sword thou shalt live, and thou shalt serve thy brother, and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.” Esau thought surely that he would be blessed if he hunted and brought the savoury meat as the father had promised but he was cursed.

For There Are Many Who Walk the Path of Esau

Why did God write these words in the Bible? It means that there are many people today who live their spiritual life like Esau. It means that there are so many people who, in their spiritual life, believe that they will be blessed if they keep the law according to God’s words, go to church on Sundays, give tithes, and come before God. God wrote this story in the Bible because He wanted to teach us, “You will be cursed if you do that. You will be destroyed if you live like that. You cannot be blessed if you continue that way.” Most people, when they go to church, think, “That’s right. I sinned as I went to church, but I will be blessed by God if I live according to the Word of God and live diligently. God will bless me.” This thought comes from not knowing the heart of God that, The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. God knew that man was truly filthy and dirty. God knew that in the heart of man, hatred burns in the deep corners of the heart of man, lies take their place, lust comes from there, and hatred comes pouring out. How could such a man do good and obtain righteousness? The good that comes from man may appear good in the eyes of man, but since the nature of the heart of man is dirty and filthy, good cannot come forth. How can good be done when the nature itself is evil and dirty? It is impossible. That is what God wanted to show us. Therefore, we see in the Bible that all those who tried to be blessed by God through being loyal to the Word of God were all cursed. All those who try to keep the commandments and be blessed through being loyal all become cursed. The most representative story of this is the story of Genesis chapter 27.

Walk the Path of Jacob

Then what must we do to be blessed? We must walk the path of Jacob. Jacob knew that he was a dirty human who had no chance whatsoever at being blessed. Since he knew that he could not be blessed, he hid himself, went forth in the name of his brother Esau, and was blessed. In other words, we are blessed through the power of Jesus. “God, I cannot be good no matter how much I try. My heart is evil by nature, and what good can ever come from this evil heart of mine?” Therefore, you must cover yourself. The good that you have done, your honesty, the righteousness you have, the help you gave to others, you have to throw all these things into the trash and hear what Jesus Christ has done. You must receive the power of Jesus, become one with Him, and come before God. That is what the Bible is talking about. I am not righteous, but I am righteous if I have the righteousness of Jesus. I am not holy, but I am if I have the holiness of Jesus. To do this, God sent Jesus to this earth. Jesus lived in the land of Judea for 33 years without having sinned once. He lived holy and righteously. Then He ascended into heaven. God gave to us the holy life Jesus lived for the 33 years He was alive. Jesus took away the lifelong sinfulness of us. Jesus took our sins and became a sinner in our stead and gave His holy life to us. We became righteous through the righteousness of Jesus and were made to be able to come before God. Jesus lived in this world without sinning and was crucified. Why was that so? It was because Jesus bore our sins. The moment our sins were moved on to Jesus, the righteousness and holiness of Jesus moved over on to us. Whether we know it or not, our sins have moved on to Jesus and Jesus became the sinner, while the righteousness and holiness of Jesus came upon us to make us righteous. When we come before God, we do not come forth through keeping the law and doing good deeds. Although you have done good deeds, you must throw away your heart completely because it is, by nature, evil and dirty. You must come forth through the righteousness and holiness of Jesus He has given you. Genesis chapter 27 is telling us that at that instant we can be blessed. Jacob completely erased himself. He only brought the dish Rebekah prepared and came in the name of his brother, Esau, to be blessed. Esau brought forth what he did well, how he hunted and cooked the meat according to his father’s words, and was cursed. Today, the Bible is clearly teaching us about this. You are cursed if you come forth with the good things you have done well. But if you deny yourself and bring forth the righteousness and holiness of Jesus, you are blessed by God. Genesis chapter 27 is clearly expounding this to us.

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