Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

 Title: Selfishness Separates Families

Text: (Genesis 27:43).

Scripture Reading: Genesis 27:30-45

 

Introduction

Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah, differed from the start. 

Esau, the oldest, was a man of the field, while Jacob was a “home boy.” 

Twice, during their days at home, Jacob took advantage of Esau. 

First, he enticed his older brother to sell his birthright to him for a bowl of pottage. 

The second time he and his mother, Rebekah, deceived Isaac and made him grant the major family blessing to Jacob rather than Esau.

Because of his deception, Jacob had to flee and spent twenty years in a distant land waiting for Esau’s anger to cool. 

Even when Jacob returned, he was still not certain that he was safe from his older brother’s wrath. 

We can learn several valuable lessons from this story.

The first lesson is that parents should never “play games” with their children.

Let’s pick up the story of Jacob in chapter 27 of Genesis. 

“And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.  And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die” (Genesis 27:1-4).

God’s word shows that Isaac was an outstanding man, a great man. 

Abimelech and the Philistines came to make a treaty with him since they feared him. 

He was patient and peace loving but also prominent and powerful. 

Here, however, he reveals that weakness of the flesh. 

All during his life, Esau had been his favorite while Jacob had been the favorite of Rebekah. 

Esau was the outdoor boy who would go out and bring in a deer or some other animal. 

He would barbeque it, and the old man would enjoy it. 

Now Isaac is very old and he wants to bless his favorite son. 

He knows very well that God has said the elder will serve the younger, but he bypasses that because he wants to bless Esau. 

So he tells Esau to go out and bring in some meat and he will bless him because of it. 

What a revelation this is of this family. 

As you read through Genesis, the family strife becomes evident. 

There was strife in the family of Abraham because of Hagar. 

Now there is strife in this family over these twins.

“And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.  And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.  Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.  Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death” (Genesis 27:5-10).

Rebekah overheard what Isaac said. 

Jacob is her favorite; so she conceives this deceitful plan. 

It is absolute trickery, and it cannot be condoned on any basis whatever. 

God is recording it in history, but he condemns it. 

We will see that. 

Remember the things that are being done here, and later you will see the chickens come home to roost for Jacob. 

Well that was back then; but what about us. 

One of the saddest scenes in present-day family life is to see one parent take the side of one child and another take the side of the other. 

This can lead to domestic suicide. 

Of course, parents do not always “play the game” the same way Isaac and Rebekah played it. 

The quest for popularity with our children has variations. 

Sometimes one parent bestows secret and even lavish gifts on one child with the instructions, “Don’t let your brother or sister know about it.” 

The game can be fatal. 

Usually when parents play games, they do so because something is lacking in their relationship with each other. 

The old cliché still shouts loudly, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” 

This applies the other way also.

The second lesson to learn is that there are no shortcuts to realizing your life’s goals.

Let’s get back to the story, “And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.” 

Esau was not only an outdoor man and a red man, but he was also a hairy man.

Then Jacob said, “My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.” 

Not only will he seem to be a deceiver, he is a deceiver.

“And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.  And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.  And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.” 

Friends, I can’t help but to comment on this. 

She put that skin of the kid of the goat on the back of his neck and on the back of his hands so that when his father would feel him, he’d think it was Esau. 

She also dressed him in Esau’s clothes so he would smell like him! 

Apparently the deodorant Esau was using was not very potent. 

The fact of the matter is, I think he was like the whimsical story I heard about two men who were working in a very tight place. 

One of them finally said, “Wow!  I think the deodorant of one of us has quit working.” 

The other fellow answered, “It must be yours because I don’t use any!” 

Well, I don’t think Esau used any either, and I’m not sure he had a shower very often. 

Even if you couldn’t see him you could smell him.

“And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?  And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.  And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.”

Believe me; this boy at this particular point is typical of pious frauds. 

You will find many such frauds even in fundamental circles today. 

They talk about the Lord leading them. 

My, my, sometimes the Lord “leads” them to do some very unusual things! 

I find out sometimes that Christian men think they can do things that the Mafia would be arrested for. 

But these men can very piously pray about it and say that it is the Lord’s will. 

Believe me, Jacob at this point is a pious fraud. 

The Lord had nothing to do with this deception. 

This is what happened next--

“And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.  And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.  And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.  And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.  And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.  And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.  And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed.”

You can tell that Isaac suspected that something was wrong, but Rebekah knew Isaac very well and she had worked out every detail.

This is the blessing that Isaac gave him, “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.”

Isaac is giving the blessing which he had received—he is passing it on.

 The interesting thing is that it already belonged to Jacob. 

God had said that it did. 

God had already blessed Jacob. 

God is not accepting this deception at all. 

Jacob shouldn’t have gotten the blessing in this manner.

God would have gotten it for him, but Jacob couldn’t wait

Jacob tried to con his way in life, but we are going to see that his plan failed. 

We never gain for ourselves when we take advantage of another person’s weakness or shortsightedness. 

When the morning of reality arrives the consequences are terrible.

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 savoury 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?” (Gensis 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 take 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?” (Gensis 27:46 (KJV)

Remember that Esau had married these heathen, 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.

Conclusion

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 spoke 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.

Amen.


Your questions and comments are appreciated

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