Listen to Chapter 27 & 28 or Read "Dysfunctional"
Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 'Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die. 'Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies."
Overt favoritism among their children. Scheming. Calculated deception. Threats. What a dysfunctional family Isaac and Rebekah had created.

Why does this account of Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob & Esau bother me so much?

It's not like I don't watch movies and TV shows that play out family dysfunction in just as ugly ways. They don't seam to bother me that much. I think I am deeply bothered because this family is written about in the Bible, God's word. Not only that, but God promises to bless this family and establish his people through them. Why didn't God pick a good family or even maybe just a slightly less dysfunctional family to bless the world through?

In my desire to be close to God, perhaps this story should instead put me at ease and comfort me instead of bother me. It shows me that God will be close to people even if they have messy lives. Now it doesn't mean our actions don't bring difficulties.

Brenda Quinn writes "Jacob and Rebekah, by scheming, won the birthright and blessing for Jacob. But in doing so, they won for themselves something God would have given Jacob anyway, and lost much in the process. Now as a consequence of Jacob's deception, he must flee his home to avoid his brother's wrath. Jacob will have difficult years ahead, and Rebekah will never see him again."

On the run after deceiving his father Jacob heard from God.
He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
After this dream Jacob turns to God. God doesn't abandon us even if we have been a jerk.


  1. How comforting to know that God blesses messy families. We do not have to be a perfect family to receive his blessings. How comforting this is to me. Mike

  2. For me, as a perfectionist, always trying to have things perfectly right, whether in school, work, or my family, but never really achieving it, I find tremendous comfort knowing God isn't looking for perfection in me directly. He has it in his Son.

  3. Brenda Quinn was right, God had already told Rebekah in genesis 25:23 that "two nations shall come from your womb" and "the older shall serve the younger". God was already going to bless Jacob, he had decided it. So why would she do what she did?

    She did not trust God. She did not trust that God would bless her son, and Jacob did not seem to trust God either.

  4. how many times do we hurt ourselves or hurt others because we do not trust that God will bless us?


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