“Esau knew that his father, Isaac, had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to find a wife, and that he had warned Jacob, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” He also knew that Jacob had obeyed his parents and gone to Paddan-aram. It was now very clear to Esau that his father did not like the local Canaanite women. So Esau visited his uncle Ishmael’s family and married one of Ishmael’s daughters, in addition to the wives he already had. His new wife’s name was Mahalath. She was the sister of Nebaioth and the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son.” Genesis 28:6-9

Poor Esau. He had been taken advantage of by his twin brother Jacob, over and over again. He went into the fields every day, while Mama’s boy Jacob hung out at home. He had seen his younger brother get the upper hand on more than one occasion, taking what should have been his.

Unfortunately, he did what many of us do when we feel we’ve been dealt a poor hand: he figured out what his dad’s “deal-breaker“ was, and he set out to do exactly that. It hadn’t taken Esau long to grasp his father’s distrust for foreign women, so he went straight to his uncle Ishmael’s house to find a bride!

What did this rebellion cause him? Not joy, peace, and family harmony, but strife, grief, and division. In Chapter 26, we learn that Esau’s Hittite wives made his parents’ lives miserable. It’s a good bet that he didn’t have much accord at home, either.

It’s never a good idea to live in open rebellion to our Father’s wishes. God has our whole lives in view, and our best interest is always at His heart. And even when we turn from our rebellion and make a fresh start, we can be saddled with the consequences of our poor choices for years to come.

It can be so tempting to turn away from God when we’re angry and do exactly the opposite of what He has instructed us. But in the end, only heartache can come of it. Be sure to guard your heart against the pride and rebellion that can only come between you and the one with your best interest in His heart.