Summary: Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah, differed from the start. Esau, the oldest, was a man of the field, while Jacob was a “home boy.” Twice, during their days at home, Jacob took advantage of Esau.

Title: Selfishness Separates Families

Text: (Genesis 27:43).

Scripture Reading: Genesis 27:30-45


Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah, differed from the start.

Esau, the oldest, was a man of the field, while Jacob was a “home boy.”

Twice, during their days at home, Jacob took advantage of Esau.

First, he enticed his older brother to sell his birthright to him for a bowl of pottage.

The second time he and his mother, Rebekah, deceived Isaac and made him grant the major family blessing to Jacob rather than Esau.

Because of his deception, Jacob had to flee and spent twenty years in a distant land waiting for Esau’s anger to cool.

Even when Jacob returned, he was still not certain that he was safe from his older brother’s wrath.

We can learn several valuable lessons from this story.

The first lesson is that parents should never “play games” with their children.

Let’s pick up the story of Jacob in chapter 27 of Genesis.

“And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die” (Genesis 27:1-4).

God’s word shows that Isaac was an outstanding man, a great man.

Abimelech and the Philistines came to make a treaty with him since they feared him.

He was patient and peace loving but also prominent and powerful.

Here, however, he reveals that weakness of the flesh.

All during his life, Esau had been his favorite while Jacob had been the favorite of Rebekah.

Esau was the outdoor boy who would go out and bring in a deer or some other animal.

He would barbeque it, and the old man would enjoy it.

Now Isaac is very old and he wants to bless his favorite son.

He knows very well that God has said the elder will serve the younger, but he bypasses that because he wants to bless Esau.

So he tells Esau to go out and bring in some meat and he will bless him because of it.

What a revelation this is of this family.

As you read through Genesis, the family strife becomes evident.

There was strife in the family of Abraham because of Hagar.

Now there is strife in this family over these twins.

“And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death” (Genesis 27:5-10).

Rebekah overheard what Isaac said.

Jacob is her favorite; so she conceives this deceitful plan.

It is absolute trickery, and it cannot be condoned on any basis whatever.

God is recording it in history, but he condemns it.

We will see that.

Remember the things that are being done here, and later you will see the chickens come home to roost for Jacob.

Well that was back then; but what about us.

One of the saddest scenes in present-day family life is to see one parent take the side of one child and another take the side of the other.

This can lead to domestic suicide.

Of course, parents do not always “play the game” the same way Isaac and Rebekah played it.

The quest for popularity with our children has variations.

Sometimes one parent bestows secret and even lavish gifts on one child with the instructions, “Don’t let your brother or sister know about it.”

The game can be fatal.

Usually when parents play games, they do so because something is lacking in their relationship with each other.

The old cliché still shouts loudly, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

This applies the other way also.

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