• W. Austin Gardner

How to Ruin a perfectly good family!

  • Think of a place and a family that is superficially pleasant or at least harmless but not so secretly dysfunctional with hypocrisy, backstabbing, jealousy, fighting, and a broken family and you will have the family of Isaac and Rebekah!

  • Can God work in your family even though it is filled with problems?

  • Do you ever wonder how God can make anything good come out of all the mess you have seen?

Genesis 27:1 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. 2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: 3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; 4 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. 5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death. 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. 9 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: 10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death. 11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: 12 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. 13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. 14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. 15 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: 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: 17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? 19 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. 20 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. 21 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. 22 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. 23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him. 24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. 25 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. 26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. 27 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: 28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, And the fatness of the earth, And plenty of corn and wine: 29 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. 30 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. 31 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. 32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. 33 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. 34 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. 35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. 36 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? 37 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? 38 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. 39 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; 40 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. 41 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. 42 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. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; 44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; 45 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? 46 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?

  • Isaac is probably around 137 years old when this story takes place. He will not die for another 43 years. He has become a discouraged, depressed, bitter, selfish old man

  • Esau and Jacob are about 77 years old in this story. By no means are they boys. They are grown men still acting like children

  • The birthright was usually to inherit a double portion of the father’s estate. It gave the beneficiary the father’s authority and responsibility in the family. In essence, the birthright made you the priest of the family

  • The blessing refers to the father asking or praying God’s favor and blessing on one of his descendants. It usually included or at least it did here

  • A sweet intimacy, tender kiss, hug, touching!

  • A spoken message about the person’s value

  • Almost a prophecy about their destination

  • Full and continual commitment to the person

  • Consider this story and be warned! Don’t make these mistakes

  • Blessings can often be the source of irritation and fighting among us

  • Especially when we all maneuver and scheme to get what we want, think is ours, think we deserve

  • But we will end up hurting ourselves all of those around us

  1. The blessing that Jacob got

  2. A special intimacy, nearness 26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. 27 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:

  3. He kissed his dad

  4. His dad smelled him

  5. Isaac asks God to do several things in Jacob’s life

  6. He asks God to prosper Jacob 28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, And the fatness of the earth, And plenty of corn and wine:

  7. He asks God to make a leader out of Jacob 29 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.

  8. Jacob is made the leader of the family and the blessing and curse that God had given first to Abraham and then to Isaac is now his 29 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.

  9. Isaac tells who Jacob will be, nations will bow down.

  10. Isaac will not give the blessing to Esau now. Once given, it was given 30 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.

  11. Jacob now has a double portion of the family business. He is the priest and spiritual leader of the family. He has the blessing that God gave Abraham, then Isaac, and it now belongs to Jacob

  12. Lessons in how to destroy your family

  13. Play favorites with your children Genesis 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

  14. Let your children divide the two of you, the parents

  15. Allow there to be competition between the children for the parent’s love

  16. Use unjust judgment and discipline because you have favorites

  17. Cause your children to fight among themselves as they seek to get it all for themselves

  18. Ignore or reject God’s plan and working in your family

  19. Isaac knowingly decides to bless Esau 27:1 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. 2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: 3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; 4 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.

  20. Isaac and Rebecca know what God promised Genesis 25:21 And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, And two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; And the one people shall be stronger than the other people; And the elder shall serve the younger. 24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.

  21. It is doubtful that Rebekah didn't tell her husband what God had told her

  22. Isaac as a man of God had asked for the baby and God had answered his prayers

  23. I fully believe that Isaac knew that it was God’s plan for Jacob to get the blessing

  24. I think it must have been discussed around meals and family times

  25. Isaac asked privately for Esau to go kill the animal and for them to have their own private ceremony

  26. Maybe Isaac knew that Rebekah would remind him of what God’s will for their family was

  27. Jacob knew that he had already purchased the birthright

  28. Apparently, Isaac didn't really care what God wanted. He loved his oldest son and would do things the way he wanted to do them

  29. He rebelled against God’s will for his family

  30. Scheme and seek to control your husband rather than use godly influence 27:5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death. 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. 9 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: 10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.

  31. Rebekah heard what Isaac was going to do. She doesn’t talk to him and see if she can reason with him but rather plots to accomplish what she wants

  32. Rebekah has something she wants to see accomplished and is willing to lose her husband and her children to accomplish it

  33. Maybe she felt like Isaac was making a mistake because she realized that he was going against the promise but God’s work must be done God’s way.

  34. She doesn’t appeal. She doesn’t wait on God. She acts

  35. She is willful, rebellious, devious, and totally un-submissive

  36. Teach your child to get what’s coming by whatever means possible 27:13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. 14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. 15 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: 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: 17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

  37. His mother tells him not to worry about what Isaac thinks, the curse, or even if the curse would be what Isaac would ask God to do

  38. She tells her son to just do what she says

  39. She gets the clothes, the smell, the food, and makes all the preparations to deceive her husband

  40. Work your magic, deception, until you lose it all 27:41 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. 42 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. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; 44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; 45 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?

  41. She has now deceived her husband

  42. She has caused one son to hate the other

  43. She has to send Jacob away to never see him again

  44. Esau will do whatever he can to break his mother’s heart

  45. I doubt the marriage was the same after this

  46. She even lies to send her son away 46 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?

  47. Learn to cheat, lie, and deceive until you become really good at it 27:11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: 12 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.

  48. Jacob will become a professional cheat

  49. In this verse, he isn’t worried about what he does wrong but if someone might think that about him or that he might get caught 12 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.

  50. His cheating will only get him cheated. Laban will cheat him and he will try to cheat back

  51. He will not be changed until he wrestles with an angel and his hip is put out of joint

  52. Lose all reverence to the point that you can use God and His name in your schemes 20 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.

  53. Once you start lying it doesn’t seem to be hard to continue

  54. He dressed for the part

  55. He rehearsed the part

  56. He started talking

  57. Then he brings God into the story as though God Himself were part of the deception

  58. Let the fear of death and getting old be an excuse to do things you would never have considered when you were younger 27:1 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. 2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:

  59. Old age can be a blessing or a horror

  60. You can use your life and experiences to train others and help them grow or you can die selfishly

  61. You can be bitter and cranky. Isaac can’t see well. He thinks he is going to die but will live several more decades

  62. We should pray to finish well.

  63. The foolishness of an old man 27:1 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. 2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:

  64. He decides to do what he wants even though it is not God’s will

  65. He whines about his age and upcoming death even though it will be over 40 years before he will die

  66. He makes a major spiritual decision based on what he wants not what God wants

  67. He decides things without talking to his wife

  68. He has lost the leadership of his home

  69. He is not a spiritual leader

  70. He doesn’t have the heart of his wife or his children

  71. They live together but separate

  72. Not literally divorced but emotionally divorced

  73. He wants to keep private what should have been a large family celebration-the blessing service

  74. He wants a selfish meal and a private ceremony because he is doing in private what he knows he shouldn’t in do public

  75. He is easily deceived and has lost all discernment 23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.

  76. Blame your sin and mistakes on others instead of admitting that you did what you knew you shouldn’t 35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. 36 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?

  77. Maybe he feels like he deserves pity and special consideration due to his age and impending death

  78. The foolishness of being hung up in the present 34 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.

  79. Esau is only interested in the things of this world

  80. He sold his birthright for a bowl of beans

  81. He wants his dad’s love, blessing and will work to get it

  82. He is embarrassed that he lost the blessing and gets ruled over and has to depend on his brother 37 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?

  83. He accuses Jacob when he didn't care when he could have

  84. He was hungry for a relationship with his family

  85. Willing to kill over something he would sell for beans earlier 41 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.

  86. Where is God in all of this?

  87. God’s will is going to take place!

  88. God allows our foolishness to fulfill what He is going to do

  89. That is no excuse for us to get involved in their foolishness

  90. Even all their failure will not hinder God from carrying out His will

  91. God is not approving of our sin when He uses it all to work for good in our lives

  92. God is going to allow Jacob to go on his fleshly way until he can see just how wicked and foolish he is

  93. God will then meet him and wrestle with him until he realizes that it is not about what he does but rather what God Himself does

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