Two Brothers – Genesis 25-27

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.”

Sibling rivalry. 

It exists in most families, children trying to figure out who is the “favorite” and then trying to dethrone them.

And in the case of Esau and Jacob, it was obvious who the favorites were – Esau was loved by Isaac because he was masculine, a hunter, rough around the edges, a man’s man. He was born first, and despite what God told Rebekah, Isaac wanted a man like Esau to be his successor.

And then there was Jacob, his mother’s favorite, second by only seconds. His mother told him God spoke to her and he would be his father’s successor. But could he believe her? 

What Jacob lacked in strength, he made up for in cunning. He took advantage of Esau’s moment of weakness and traded his stew for Esau’s birthright. Obviously, Esau didn’t take his birthright seriously, or he would have never made the trade.

But the birthright and the blessing were somehow separated. If Esau could get the blessing, then birthright was empty.

The moment Esau was waiting for finally came. His father was ready to give him his blessing. All would be made right.

But once again, Jacob took advantage of the situation, with his mother’s prompting. He fooled blind Isaac into thinking he was Esau, so he gave his blessing to Jacob.

Oh, what regret all around!

Esau was weeping. Isaac was blessing him with what he could. Jacob ran away in fear of Esau’s revenge. Rebekah never even saw her son again.

Family relationships can be hard. Little do we realize as we are growing up, that the little things we do will set the course of generations to come. In this case, the favoritism of parents, the competition of sons, set the stage for conflict which affect us even today.

What if the story could have been written differently? What if the parents hadn’t played favorites, a united front in parenting? What if the boys had been furiously loyal to each other, defending each other before others? What if they had accepted God’s will and sought it together?

The world today would be a different picture.

What if my story had been written differently? What if I had sought God’s will? What if, instead of competing, I had been forgiving?

Is it too late?