Summary: Showing the importance of praticing forgiveness in the family

Title: The Power of Unforgiveness


Text: Genesis 27:34-40


In chapter 27 we jump in the middle of a bitter rivalry. Two twins in a battle for the blessings for their father. Isaac is around 160 years old. He is blind and feeble. He is not expected to live much longer. So as tradition goes he decides it is time to call in the eldest son to pass down the family property blessings.

It seems that Rebekah, as did her late mother-in-law, had become skilled in the art of eavesdropping. She had always had a desire to look out for her youngest son Jacob. When she heard that Isaac called for Esau to bless him she cuncocketed a plan to deceive Isaac and take away Esau’s blessing. Jacob was to go and kill two goats to be prepared for his father.

Next he was put on Esau’s clothes and place goat skin on his neck and arms to deceive Isaac into thinking he was Esau. As you can tell Rebekah had been waiting on this moment for a long time.

So it works. Jacob goes into Isaac and fools him. Isaac is doubtful at first but finally he is convinced by the smell. Isaac lays his hands on Jacob and he receives the blessing of the eldest son. The blessing of the land and the head of the family.

To Isaac’s shock just as Jacob leaves the room here comes Esau. Esau has done all his father has asked and he comes prepared to receive the blessing. Yet this is not possible it has been passed over to Jacob. What a shock!

We pick up in verse 34 and see Esau’s reaction and Isaac’s last prophecy.

“ And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, [even] me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son? And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, [even] me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.” (Genesis 27:34-40 AV)

Let us pray.

This bitterness between the brothers had been going on all their lives. The Bible tells us in Genesis 25 that Rebekah was barren. So Isaac prayed and God intervened and she conceived. Yet “the children struggled together within her”.

There was a bitter rivalry forming in her womb.

This became even more clearer as they were born, Esau came our first but Jacob was not to be out done so he held onto the heel of his twin brother. Esau came out red and ruddy and hairy and Jacob came out the opposite.

Sadly each parent chose a child. Because Esau like the woods and hunting Isaac chose him. And because Jacob was a plain man who like to stay at home Rebekah chose him.

Let me tell you there is nothing worse than parents showing favoritism to their children. It happens all the time. One parent shows favoritism over another and it causes a bitter rivalry between the children. I understand it is hard to keep a balance between giving attention between more than one child but it must be worked at. It causes a terrible affect on the child. Especially the one who feels they are always competing for their parents attention.

But this is what happened. Sadly Jacob didn’t learn his lesson from this incident. Later on in his life we read that he showed favoritism to Joseph and Benjamin over the other 10 brothers which we see again caused a bitter rivalry.

Well the competition was on and the stakes was set. The goal for Jacob was to achieve the attention of his father. And he began to fulfill the prophecy of his name. Convening and doing whatever it took to become the eldest son. He knew that Esau had an inside track on it so he stooped to treachery to get this back.

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