The Highly Disfunctional Biblical Family

Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Esau

Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Esau

Romans 1:17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Deceit, lies, manipulation, stealing and intent-to-murder are the behaviors that are exhibited in chapter 27 of Genesis. I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t sound like a family who is blessed by God. The theme from the Adam’s family should be playing in the background while we read this story. There are so many things that are wrong about it and on so many levels.

Isaac is supposed to give the family blessing to Jacob (his oldest son), but does not because he selfishly favors Esau. Rebekah selfishly manipulates Jacob to disguise himself as Esau so that Jacob (her favorite son) can receive Isaac’s blessing. Jacob lies to his father, Isaac, to receive his brothers blessing and Esau wants to kill his brother for stealing his birth given blessing. The result: division, grief and strife.

There are consequences for their actions, we can’t live without having consequences for our sin. I had coffee with a friend yesterday and she asked an awesome question. “Why does God give us free will?” If God didn’t give us free will we would be merely puppets. I’ve never been in the military, but my only tangible comparison that I envision is that a puppet of God would be like being a soldier who is told what to do, when to do it, and is subject to obey every command – without exception. If or when that soldier acts – in any way – independent of those commands they are disciplined, punished, and forced to comply. That is not the character of our loving God.

God wants 2 things to come from our free will:

1 – God wants to know that we (freely) choose Him. Free will gives us the ability to choose between God and sin. He is pleased to know our love and desire to please him is sincerely, not forced. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being told what to do. I’m much more likely to do what I am asked to do instead of being told what do to.

2 – He allows our choices to strengthen our faith in Him. If we go down the wrong path or mess up along the way, we know that God is faithful to bring us back to him. We can then repent of those sins (admitting we have done wrong) and grow closer to him as a result. He forgives and allows us to learn from our own mistakes as to not repeat those sins and further validate why His ways are the best ways for us to live our lives. When my Dad used to demand that I do something I did it begrudgingly or would rebel against his wishes. With free will, its as though God warns us in advance and if we chose not to heed that warning – we learn!

So Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Esau are going to learn (the hard way) that their way is not the best way. They all made choices and those choices will not benefit them. However, it will benefit us because they gives us yet another example of why we need to trust in God, not ourselves.

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