Remorse But Not Repentance

Remorse But Not Repentance

30 After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”

32 His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”

“I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”

33 Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!”

34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!”

35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”

36 Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”

37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”

38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.

39 His father Isaac answered him,

“Your dwelling will be
away from the earth’s richness,
away from the dew of heaven above.
40 You will live by the sword
and you will serve your brother.
But when you grow restless,
you will throw his yoke
from off your neck.”

Genesis 27:30-40

This passage truly underscores the importance of the blessing. Esau was begging his father to bless him, but he also knew that he couldn’t. If you read it carefully, you can just see him getting on his knees and pleading with his father.

But his father’s hand were tied. He had already blessed Jacob, though he thought he was blessing Esau. Isaac knew that the birthright had been handed over to Jacob, but he went ahead and blessed Esau instead (only it was Jacob). Even in that scenario, Isaac was fighting against God because he truly wanted to bless Esau, even though he knew Jacob was the right son in God’s plan.

Confused yet?

Esau demanded Isaac bless him. Esau knew he had sinned by handing over the birthright long ago, but was insistent that he would be getting the blessing. He essentially wanted Isaac to go against what he knew to be right. We see remorse at what Esau had done but no repentance.

And as we study this passage further, we’ll see Esau’s anger and rage being revealed, a clear indication of Esau going even further with his bitterness.

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