Fixing Your own Problems -- By Lyn Chaffart

"Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had." (Gen 28:8-9)

Have you ever tried to get yourself out of a pickle, only to find that you have only gotten yourself deeper into trouble?  Esau did!  Let's take a look:
 
Our friend Esau was a rather independent sort.  He thrived on adventure, becoming a skillful hunter, a man of the open country (Gen. 25:28).  And when it came time for him to choose a wife, he apparently didn't bother consulting his parents.  The Bible says that "he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite."  (Gen 26:34). 
 
Being adventuresome and independent might have brought Esau joy in life, except for one little problem:  Jacob!  This feisty younger brother had already succeeded in cheating him out of his birthright and his blessing.  And to make matters worse, it came to Esau's attention that his parents don't approve of his marriages (Gen. 26:35:  "They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebecca." and Gen. 27:46: "Rebekah said to Isaac, 'I'm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.'")  Because of this, they were sending Jacob away, commanding him to "not marry a Canaanite woman" (Gen. 28:1), but to "Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother's father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother." (Gen 28:2-3) 
 
At this point, Esau must have started to wonder if he could do anything right!  His father blesses Jacob instead of him, and now, he learns that his parents don't approve of his marriages!  So what does Esau do?  He decides to take measures on his own to "fix" the problem!  He goes and takes a third wife from the daughters of Ishmael, his father's half-brother! 
 
Did Esau's third marriage bring joy to his parents?  We aren't told.  But somehow, it must have made Esau feel like he was in his parents' better graces to be married to someone of the family.  Perhaps now he could regain his father's approval!  However, no matter what Isaac and Rebekah thought about Esau's third wife, this would NOT stop the problems created by the first two, and more than likely, the addition of a third wife might have made things a little tense in Esau's home!  
 
What can we learn from this story?  That it is better to seek advice before going out on our own, making decisions that will not only affect us, but will also affect those around us!  But we all make bad decisions from time to time, and this story can teach us that when we realize our serious error, this is NOT the time to continue to take things back into our own hands!  If we do stubbornly try to correct our errors on our own, we chance only making things worse. 
 
What should we do instead?  We should do what Esau should have done!  We should seek advice--from others, from parents, and mostly from God--before we mess up.  But when we do find ourselves to be victims of our own demise, we must not go on trying to correct our mistakes on our own!  It will only make things first.  Instead, we must learn to give the problem to God.  Let Him figure it out!  And when we do, we won't just be covering up our mistakes with new ones, instead we'll be truly allowing God to "fix" the problem!    
 
Father God, help me learn to seek YOUR advice BEFORE making decisions.  But Lord, when I do mess up, help me to remember to give the problems I create to YOU instead of trying to fix them up on my own!
 
Love in Christ,

Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets ( www.scripturalnuggets.org  ), Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org