The Review and Herald


April 27, 1886

Esau's Mistake


Esau, because he lusted for a favorite dish, sacrificed his birthright to gratify appetite. After his lustful appetite was gratified, then he saw his folly, but found no space for repentance, although he sought it carefully, and with tears. RH April 27, 1886, par. 1

There are very many who are like Esau. He represents a class who have a special, valuable blessing within their reach—the immortal inheritance; life that is as enduring as the life of God, the Creator of the universe; happiness immeasurable, and an eternal weight of glory. Yet there are very many who have indulged their appetites, passions, and inclinations so long that their powers to discern and appreciate the value of eternal things are weakened. Esau had a special, strong desire for a particular article of food, and he had gratified self so long that he did not feel the necessity of turning from the tempting, coveted dish. He thought upon it, and made no special effort to restrain his appetite, until its power bore down every other consideration, and controlled him, and he imagined he would suffer great inconvenience, and even death, if he could not have that particular dish. The more he thought upon it, the more his desire strengthened, until his birthright, which was sacred, lost its value and its sacredness. He thought, Well, if I now sell it, I can easily buy it back again. He flattered himself that he could dispose of it at will, and buy it back at pleasure. He bartered it away for a favorite dish. When he sought to purchase it back, even at a great sacrifice on his part, he was not able to do so. He then bitterly repented his rashness, his folly, his madness. He looked the matter over on every side. He sought for repentance carefully and with tears. It was all in vain. He had despised the blessing, and the Lord removed it from him forever. RH April 27, 1886, par. 2

Under the parable of a great supper, our Saviour shows that many will choose the world above himself, and will, as the result, lose heaven. The gracious invitation of our Saviour was slighted. He had been to the trouble and expense of making a great preparation at an immense sacrifice; then he sent his invitations. But they with one consent began to make excuses. “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, therefore I cannot come.” The Lord then turns from the wealthy and the world-loving, whose lands and oxen and wives were of so great value in their estimation as to outweigh the advantages they would gain by accepting the gracious invitation he had given them to eat of his supper. The master of the house is angry, and turns from those who had thus insulted the bounty offered them; turns to a class who are not full, who are poor, who are hungry, who are not in possession of lands and houses; they are maimed and lame, halt and blind, and they will appreciate the bounties provided, and in return will render the master sincere gratitude, unfeigned love and devotion. And yet there is room. The command is to go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. “For I say unto you that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” Here is a class rejected of God because they despised the invitation of the Master. The Lord declared to Eli, Them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Says Christ, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be; if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.” God will not be trifled with. Those who have the light and reject it, or neglect to follow it out, to them it will become darkness. An immense sacrifice was made on the part of God's dear Son, that he might have power to rescue fallen man and exalt him to his own right hand, make him an heir of the world, and a possessor of the eternal weight of glory. Language will fail of estimating the value of the immortal inheritance. RH April 27, 1886, par. 3

The glory, riches, honor, offered by the Son of God, is of such infinite value that it is beyond the power of men or even angels to give any just idea of its worth, its excellence, its magnificence. If men, plunged in sin and degradation, refuse these heavenly benefits, refuse a life of obedience, trample upon the gracious invitations of mercy, and choose the paltry things of earth because they are seen, and it is convenient for their present enjoyment to pursue a course of sin, Jesus will carry out the figure in the parable; such shall not taste of his glory, but the invitation will be extended to another class. Those who choose to make excuses, continue in sin and conformity to the world, will be left to their idols. There will be a day when they will not beg to be excused, when not one will wish to be excused. When Christ shall come in his glory, and with the glory of his Father, and all the heavenly angels surrounding him, escorting him on his way, with voices of triumph, while strains of the most enchanting music fall upon the ear, all will then be interested; not one indifferent spectator will be there. RH April 27, 1886, par. 4

Speculations will not then engross the soul. The miser's piles of gold, which are before him, which have feasted his eyes, are no more attractive. The palaces which proud men of earth have erected, and which have been their idols, are turned from with loathing and disgust. No one pleads his lands, his oxen, his wife that he has just married, as reasons why he should be excused from sharing the glory that bursts upon his astonished vision. All want a share, but they know it is not for them. They call in earnest, agonizing prayer for God not to pass them by. The kings, the mighty men, the lofty, the proud, the mean man, alike bow together under a pressure of woe, desolation, misery; inexpressible, heart-anguished prayers are wrung from the lips, Mercy! mercy! Save us from the wrath of an offended God! A voice answers with terrible distinctness, sternness, and majesty, “Because I have called, and ye have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and ye have not regarded; but ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh.” RH April 27, 1886, par. 5

Then kings and nobles, the mighty man, and the poor man, and the mean man, alike cry there most bitterly. They who in the days of their prosperity despised Christ and the humble ones who followed in his footsteps, men who would not humble their dignity to bow to Jesus Christ, who hated his despised cross, now are prostrate in the mire of the earth. Their greatness has all at once left them, and they do not hesitate to bow to the earth at the feet of the saints. They then realize with terrible bitterness that they are eating the fruit of their own way, and being filled with their own devices. In their supposed wisdom they turned away from the high, eternal reward, rejected the heavenly inducement, for earthly gain. The glitter and tinsel of earth fascinated them, and in their supposed wisdom they became fools. They exulted in their worldly prosperity as though their worldly advantages were so great that they could, through them, be recommended to God, and thus secure heaven. Money was power among the foolish of earth, and money was their God; but their very prosperity has destroyed them. They became fools in the eyes of God and his heavenly angels, while men of worldly ambition thought them wise. Now their supposed wisdom is all foolishness, and their prosperity their destruction. Again rings forth in shrieks of fearful, heart-rending anguish, “Rocks and mountains, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him who sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?” To the caves of the earth as a covert they flee, but they fail to be such then. RH April 27, 1886, par. 6

“If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Very many who profess to be Christ's disciples will apparently pass along smoothly in this world, and men will regard them as upright, godly men, when they have a plague spot at the core, which taints their whole character and corrupts their religious experience. RH April 27, 1886, par. 7

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” This forbids the taking advantage of our fellowmen in order to advantage ourselves. We are forbidden to wrong our neighbor in anything. We should not view the matter from the worldling's stand-point. To deal with our fellow-men in every instance, just as we should wish them to deal with us, is a rule we should apply to ourselves practically. God's laws are to be obeyed to the letter. In all our intercourse and deal with our fellow-men, whether believers or unbelievers, this rule is to be applied: Love thy neighbor as thyself. RH April 27, 1886, par. 8

Here many who profess to be Christians will not bear the measurement of God; when weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, they will be found wanting. Dear brethren, “Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you, and be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” What a promise is this! But we are not to lose sight of the fact that it is a promise based upon obedience to the command. God calls us to be separate from the world. We are not to imitate or follow their practices, nor be conformed to the world in our course of action in any respect. But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. RH April 27, 1886, par. 9