Pastor Troy Martin
If you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers Ja 2:9 (NIV). James tells us that one of the central sins that can destroy a household of faith is the sin of favoritism. Or in the KJV, partiality. Genesis 27 shows us a household that is actually running that way… and shows us the fruit of it.
v. 1-4 God gave Jacob a promise. Esau sold Jacob the birthright. But Isaac wants it differently. He tells Esau to make him a meal, in return for a blessing.
v. 5-10 Rebekah overhears this conversation and is troubled by it. She concocts a plan to stop her husband’s ambition to overturn God’s design.
v. 11-13 Jacob is the first one to point out the deceit in this plan. Rebekah promises to take on herself the consequences of it, but she calls on Jacob to obey her.
v. 14-29 The plan is enacted. Jacob is sent to his father in another’s skin. Isaac is wary but eventually convinced. And Jacob, perhaps to his own misery, is blessed.
v. 30-39 Moments later Esau enters, hungry for a blessing. Isaac learns he was deceived… and more importantly, that God’s will was realized despite all his plotting.
v. 40-45 While Isaac ends his warfare with God, Esau doesn’t. Like Cain before him, he decides to kill the brother who got the blessing. Rebekah intervenes to save her son.
As this narrative ends, everything in the patriarch's household falls apart. But Rom. 5:14 (NIV) reminds us that it was written for us. For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Thus, this narrative shows us...
Endurance: ___________________________. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good (2 Th 3:13). Isaac stopped caring about God’s word or about his sons. Even Esau is not loved redemptively. By Grace, be better parents than that. Bless your kids.
Encouragement: _______________________. If God is for you, who can be against you (Ro 8:31)? Wanting a blessing is not a sign of bad parenting, it is how we are made. Even if God is the only one who gives the blessing, and no one else, it’s worth hearing from Him.
Hope: ______________________________. The overwhelming teaching of the Bible is that no matter what we suffer, it works for our good. That is what the cross teaches. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard… [what] God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Co 2:9).
Questions for Household Growth
What is the sin of favoritism and what is not favoritism?
Why was Isaac separating blessing from birthrights? Was it possible? Was it right?
How does Rom. 8:31 apply to Jacob? To you?