A. Inherited Sin Nature
Jacob was a conniver from the start. His name meant supplanter' because at birth he held his twin brother's foot. Esau was the first born, but Jacob was right behind holding his heel.
We all are born sinners. Our sinful natures are inherited through Adam ultimately though immediately passed through our fathers. Mankind has a natural bent toward selfishness which apart from God's grace ultimately destroys every one of them .
Only by being born again (Jacob was born second ) is a new spiritual nature imparted. God's choice of the second born is what Jesus expected Nicodemus to know as a Teacher of the Law (John 3:1-10).
"How can these things be?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?" (John 3:9-10).
B. The Sinful Nature: Two Lost Treasures
The two brothers' sinful nature is clearly revealed through their lives. Esau's problem was rooted in the way he despised his godly inheritance and Isaac's refusal to do what was proper. Jacob sinned both against his father and brother from which he would pay good and long.
Esau was tricked two times, or at least he says so. We don't notice him, however, saying that he despised his birthright by trading it for a bowl of lentils. He showed his preference of earthly over heavenly.
The birthright was the right of a double portion of the inheritance. If there were two sons, the property would be divided into thirds and the eldest would get 2 portions, the younger one portion. (De 21:15-17)
The blessing accompanied the actual property. The father's blessing is the pronouncement of goodness upon his sons near his death. It seems that the father would gain a certain amount of God's promises and he could then bestow them upon his sons as he saw fit.
"Is he not rightly named Jacob, for he has supplanted me these two times? He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing." And he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?" (Genesis 27:36)
"That there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. (Hebrews 12:16)
And Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father." So Esau lifted his voice and wept. (Genesis 27:38)
C. Determining Responsibility
Esau fell against hard times. This does not mean that God's curse caused him to be this way but that he had shown his fleshly heart by his worldly decisions.
Esau shows what happens when a man gets what he deserves. Jacob shows what happens when he didn't get the judgment that he deserved. God is under no compulsion to show grace. Giving grace is solely God's choice.
Bad decision #1:
Sold his birthright for porridge (Genesis 25:32)
Bad decision #2:
Married Hittite women (Genesis 26:34-35)
Bad decision #3:
Married an Ishmaelite to spite his Dad (Gen 28:8-9).
Karma is an Indian religious term that describes the bad things one gets from the result of a former life - this is an unscriptural perspective.
Even though influenced by Isaac, Esau got what he deserved from the bad decisions he made in his one life on earth with consequences that run into eternity.
Interworkings of Election
And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER." Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED." What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. (Romans 9:10-16)
And when Esau was forty years old he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite; and they brought grief to Isaac and Rebekah. (Genesis 26:34-35)
So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; and Esau went to Ishmael, and married ....