Scripture Read: Genesis 25:19 -34; 26
Title: Sibling Rivalry
(H) Highlight verse:: "Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Isaac." Genesis 25:28
(E) Explain: Isaac and Rebekah's life has many similarities to Abraham and Sarah's Rebekah is a beautiful woman and Isaac feels the need to lie to King Abimelech about her being his wife. A mistake his father made in prior years. Rebekah has difficulty conceiving, just as he mother-in-law did. However God continually blessed Isaac and Rebekah as he gains great wealth and influence in the land where he lives.
As the soap opera continues Isaac and Rebekah are blessed with twins. We see early on that there was a sibling rivalry going on from the beginning, starting in the womb. But the boys are two very different sons. Esau becomes a skilled hunter and a man of the field. You can imagine him as a big hairy brute… a true man’s man. Jacob… well he was a quiet son… what on earth does this mean? Jacob liked to stay home; he was a momma’s boy. Ironically when the word quiet is used to describe a person it means “perfect”, however we find Jacob is far from this. Isaac favored Esau because he loved that he brought home meat to eat. We see now that Isaac is a man of prayer who loves his food. We see that he could certainly be adding fuel to the rivalry fire between the brothers because he favors Esau over Jacob. However Rebekah favors Jacob. Why? Maybe because he was the quiet home body or maybe because she knew God was going to bless him. Either way we see some dysfunction going on here. Parental favoritism is a recipe for destruction and the cause of great conflict in the future.
(A) Application: In this account there is a lot going on as usual. The word that keeps coming back to mind in this passage is patience. Isaac prays for a child for 20 years, he doesn’t give up. He shows great faith and patience. Esau on the other hand does give not practice patience because he actually gives up his birthright because he wants what he wants NOW! He gives up his precious birthright (something that will benefit him greatly in the future and is exclusively for him) for a meal right now. He is like Wimpy from Popeye who always said, "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today." He forfeited his birthright over a bowl of stew.
We live in a McWorld where we can have anything we want and we can have it now. Sometimes we compromise our values because we cannot patiently wait. Sometimes we go through things in our life and we feel we cannot patiently endure, but I think that we can learn from the Patriarchs of faith as they patiently waited (sometimes they tried to move God's process along a little faster) for God to fulfill His promise in their lives.
(R) Respond: God I pray for patience. I pray that in my need to get what I want NOW, that I can step back and allow you to work at your pace and give me the things you desire for me to have in your time. May I not forfeit a blessing because of my impatience.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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