A couple of years ago, my primary doctor was looking over my medical history and made the comment, “your primary issues are clearly orthopedic.”
We both laughed because, in the short time that she has known me, I have sprained an ankle or both frequently, torn an ankle ligament, sprained a thumb, pulled muscles in my low back, neck, and hip, and was currently being referred to a specialist for a shoulder injury. She even has in my history that I struggle with plantar fasciitis.
I wish I could say these are my only weaknesses. But, along with all other humans on this planet, I share the same weakness.
What is this shared weakness we are all prone towards?
Who Was Esau?
Before Esau was yet to be named, he and his twin brother jostled each other in their mother, Rebekah’s womb. Because of this, Rebekah inquired of the Lord. (See Gen 25:22)
Read the Lord’s response to Rebekah:
What does Rebekah learn about the oldest sibling from God?
Esau receives his name based on his appearance of being red and hairy. (See Gen 25:25)
Genesis 25:27 indicates Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob, his brother, was a quiet man who preferred to stay in the tents.
Now consider how Esau’s parents viewed him and his brother Jacob.
28 Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 
What reasons provided explain why Rebekah loved Jacob?
Describe Esau’s behavior in the passage above.
How is Esau’s behavior related to Isaac loving him over Jacob?
34 When Esau was forty years old, he took Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, to be his wife, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35 and they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah. 
Who chose Esau’s wives?
What clan did Beeri and Basemath come from?
What clan did Rebekah come from? (See Genesis 24.)
Why would Esau’s choices of wives cause bitterness for Isaac and Rebekah?
How would you describe Esau’s character at this stage of his life?
Later, in Geneses 27, Esau is sent out by his father Isaac to hunt some game. Esau’s mother, Rebekah, overheard Isaac saying he would pronounce a blessing over Esau once Esau had returned and prepared the meal. This knowledge prompts Rebekah to scheme for Jacob, Esau’s twin brother, to get the blessing that Isaac had intended to pronounce over Esau. Jacob agreed to the scheme. (See Gen 27:1-29)
Consider Esau’s reaction after discovering the scheme.
36 Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 
Did Jacob truly deceive Esau twice or once?
Esau continues to ask Isaac to bless him, even after Isaac says he’s given everything over to Jacob.
38 Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. 
Isaac relents and offers a difficult blessing, but also shows Esau will eventually be free from serving Jacob.
Do you think Isaac intended Esau should murder Jacob to break free from serving his younger brother? What other options could Esau choose to break free?
What one word comes to your mind to describe Esau’s weakness revealed by scripture so far?
The word that comes to my mind is selfishness.
Esau is so focused on his own immediate desires that he disregards how his choices might affect his future, as well as how his choices impact those around him.
From a child claiming a toy and not wanting to share it with anyone to adults refusing to share with their own family members or friends, selfishness is a weakness we all struggle with.
Think back over the past day, week, or month. When have you been selfish? Even over something trivial?
Did your selfishness inconvenience or harm someone else now? Could it cause harm in the future?
Is it possible that your selfishness might circle back to harm you?
Consider the following ways scripture encourages us to let go of selfishness and other weaknesses.
We will cover more of Esau’s story next time.
Meanwhile, what other scriptures would you share to encourage someone who has suffered at the hands of someone’s selfishness?
What other scriptures would you share to assure someone who has confessed their selfishness that forgiveness is possible?
Share these scriptures in the comments below!