His name was Esau, but they called him Edom (Red) because of the red pottage for which in a rash moment of weakness he sold his birthright to his twin brother Jacob. And also, perhaps, because when he was born he came out red all over and hairy. Through the deceit of his mother and brother, he was cheated of the blessing of his father, which carried the lineage to the Christ. Bitterness and hatred became his constant companions. He married foreign women, partly to spite his mother and father. He sired a nation that became a thorn in the side of the Israelites. His descendants and his brother’s descendants became bitter enemies. Gen. 25:19-26; Gen. 36:1,8;
Gen. 25:27-34; Heb.12:16.
And yet in his later years, there came to Esau prosperity and a mellowness of character. A wonderful picture is given in Genesis 33 of the reconciliation with his brother that gives us a peaceable ending to an interesting account in the history of Christ.
The case of Esau is heart warming because it proves that a life can change. What begins badly can end well. And aren’t we glad? Since this is the story of each of us and since, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23.
A verse that epitomizes the “good news” is found in John 1:11-14, “He came unto His own and His own received him not. But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
“The power to become.” How important this is to us! Most of us are not well pleased with ourselves physically. That’s why there is such a huge market for work-out machines, cosmetics, shoulder pads, diet products, tummy-tucks, cosmetic dentistry, perfumes, shaving lotions, and on and on the list goes. Spiritually there is an even greater and more important need to change. We are selfish, sinful, hurtful, and disobedient to our Creator. Because of this we are doomed eternally unless we change.
But, tragically, we cannot change without outside help. The law of Moses proved that. The apostle Paul concluded, O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this flesh?” That’s why it is such good news that Christ gives us the power to become. Sinful and filthy, we can be clean and forgiven. Not only is the gospel “the good news” the gospel is the best news!