Selfishness Separates Families Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Our next lesson is that gratifying our appetites immediately can be dangerous.
We do not always need what we think we do at a given moment.
We can bring years of regret and grief on ourselves because we make a foolish bargain on impulse.
That’s what Esau did.
Let’s continue with our story—
“And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. And he also had made savory meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.”
Now Isaac really sees how he has been taken advantage of in this plot.
“And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea and he shall be blessed. 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 subtlety, 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. And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.”
Esau is thinking: My father is old and won’t live much longer.
Just as soon as my father dies, I’ll kill Jacob.
I’ll get rid of him!
This is the thought of his heart, and he evidentially talked about it to others, because next, we read--
“And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. Now, therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran.”
Here again, we see Rebekah taking things into her own hands.
She tells Jacob, “You are going to have to leave home.”
Little did she know that she would pay for her part in this; she would pay for her sin.
She never saw this boy again.
She said she would send him over there for a little while, but it was a long while and she died before he got back.
We must remember that Jacob is her favorite.
She wants Jacob to go to her brother, Laban, and that is where she will send him.
This is where Jacob is going to learn his lesson.
This is where the chickens will come home to roost.
Old Uncle Laban is going to put him through school and teach him a few things.
Jacob thought he was clever, but Uncle Laban is an expert in cleverness.
Poor Jacob will find he is just an amateur, and he is going to cry out to God in desperation before it is all over.
This is what Rebekah told Jacob--
“And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away; Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?” (Genesis 27:30-45 (KJV).
Notice that she says she will send him away for a few days.
A few days lengthened to twenty years, and during that interval, she died.
She never saw her boy, her pet, her favorite, again.
We can picture the life of Rebekah during those years when we consider that Esau probably did not think much of his mother after that last episode.
Finally, we can see that a divided family is tragic.
“And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?” (Genesis 27:46 (KJV)
Remember that Esau had married these heathens, godless women.
Already that was bringing sorrow into the home, and even Rebekah was overwhelmed by it.
Now she tells Isaac that if Jacob stays there he will probably do the same thing.
She could use this as an excellent excuse to get Jacob away from home to protect him from Esau.
She has this little conference with Isaac to convince him that the thing to do is to send Jacob back to her family, to her brother Laban.
Remember how Abraham’s servant had gone there to get her.
So now the point is to get Jacob back there to get a wife, but also to get him out of danger.
Very frankly, I think that if he had stayed at home, Esau would have tried to kill him.
However, the way it turned out, Rebekah was the first to die, but Jacob got back for his father’s funeral.
But he never again saw his mother.
Look at the terrible result of the competitive nature in Isaac and Rebekah.
On the surface, Rebekah seems more at fault than Isaac, because she was the aggressive one.
Isaac, however, should have shown more awareness.
He seems to have allowed his wife’s domineering spirit to have full sway.
Regardless of how we assess the blame, both parties suffered tremendously.
Esau married several Hittite women.
And although Jacob marries Leah and Rachel, Semite girls from Rebekah’s family background, he didn’t return with the grandchildren until twenty years later.
She never saw her grandchildren.
What a terrible price to pay for sowing discord by showing favoritism.
Let’s not end on a negative note.
How can we have a united family?
The best way is for a mother and father to keep their love for each other meaningful and vital.
The greatest security children will ever have and the thing that will bind them closer together is to know that their mother and father genuinely love each other.
With the divorce rate so high today and with many other couples staying married in name only, how necessary is it for us to take inventory of our home life and make the necessary adjustments.
The greatest help to family solidarity and marital unity is to let Jesus Christ be Lord of our home.
We have spoken a lot about families today, but let me close by making this personal.
There may be strife here where you live.
Apply what you have learned today.
Don’t join in the fighting and discord.
Instead, confess any animosity that you might feel to God, and ask Him to help you put it aside.
If you are sincere, He will help you to be a person who brings harmony to troubled people.
Trust everything to God.
He will bless you when you do.