Esau is starving. He deems his birthright as being of no worth to him if he dies of starvation, so he sells it for food. And he thinks nothing of giving up the rights of the firstborn son.
“Esau answered, Lo! I die, what shall the first begotten things profit to me? (And Esau answered, Lo! I am starving right now, and what good is my birthright to me!)” (Genesis 25:32,WYC)
We’ve all heard the adage that ‘hindsight is golden.’ Esau looks back at his foolish decision and mourns the loss of his birthright. But, for all his tears, the consequences of his decision remain, coloring his life. He hates his brother, Jacob who supplants him twice, first taking his birthright and later his blessing.
Forgiveness is glorious; we each must appreciate the washing away of our sins and mistakes. Consequences remain, but God is able and sometimes willing to even wash away these. Esau and Jacob reconcile despite one’s foolishness and the other’s subterfuge.
“Forsooth Jacob raised up his eyes, and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him; and he parted the sons of Leah, and of Rachel, and of both the servantesses (and he divided the children between Leah, and Rachel, and the two slave-girls).” (Genesis 33:1)
“And so Esau ran against his brother (And Esau ran to meet his brother), and embraced him, and Esau held his neck, and kissed him, and (they) wept (together).” (Genesis 33:4)
Who would imagine these brothers, so different in temperament and purposes, would come together in forgiveness and brotherly love? Yes, Jacob is cautious, wary of his older brother. On the other hand, Esau is ready to forgive and forget the past harm. True, Esau never regains his birthright despite tears. But he does regain his brother.
Only God makes freedom from sin and relief from some of its dire consequences possible.