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The Word for Today

by Bob and Debby Gass

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‘Isaac…loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.’ Genesis 25:28 NIV

Isaac’s favouritism triggered rivalry between his two sons. Now some rivalry is normal and healthy and is usually outgrown, but not in Esau’s and Jacob’s case. Time only turned their rivalry into hatred. It’s tempting to blame Esau’s explosive anger, but his brother Jacob was no innocent victim. Catching Esau at a moment of extreme hunger, Jacob tricked him into trading his inheritance for a bowl of stew. Later, pretending to be his brother, Jacob stole Esau’s prophetic blessing from under their ageing father’s nose. Where does this kind of toxic rivalry originate? Is it about good kids versus bad kids? Not likely! ‘Isaac loved Esau.’ Esau got his father’s love, leaving Jacob resentful over getting what he, Jacob, wanted but was denied. Jacob couldn’t get the love he craved from his father so he grabbed what he could: the birthright and the blessing. When children are denied our love they become self-destructive, pursuing whatever love-substitutes they can get from us or other sources. Jacob wasn’t born a ‘bad boy’. The failure of Isaac’s love and his favouritism towards Esau left Jacob feeling rejected, hating the brother he perceived to be his problem. And Esau didn’t start out a ‘bad boy’ either. His mother Rebekah favoured Jacob and helped concoct his ‘stolen blessing scam’. Jacob wasn’t loved by his father; Esau wasn’t loved by his mother. Their parents weren’t on the same page. Their favouritism led to one son becoming a fugitive and another programmed for a life of failure. Parents, consider carefully your power to shape your child’s life!

SoulFood: 2 Kings 7-9, Mark 12:13-27, Ps 132:1-10, Pr 13:4-6

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2011

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