Past Choices, Present Calamity (Part 1 of 5)

After twenty years of running from his brother, Jacob got this one right!  He led his family to worship and serve the only true God.

February 24, 2021

"And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went."

Genesis 35:3

Part 1

Today:  Jacob’s Past Sin Limits His Present Choices

This story of Jacob began many years ago.  It started when Isaac and Rebekah had twin boys, Esau and Jacob.  Esau became Isaac’s favorite son, while Rebekah favored Jacob.  In fact, God said, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:13, Malachi 1:2).  God has chosen Jacob to receive the blessing, the birthright, rather than Esau, the eldest.  In time, God would bring this about, but this story teaches us that our impatience can cause real problems when we don’t do things the way God plans.

Rebekah very much wanted the birthright for Jacob, and she is determined to help him take it.[1]  One thing that was going in Jacob’s favor is that to Esau, the birthright meant nothing.  In the immaturity of his youth, Esau could care less who received it.  One day, after being out hunting, he came home hungry.  Esau was ravenous.  He made a deal with his brother that if Jacob gave him a bowl of beans, he would let Jacob have the birthright (Genesis 25:30-34).  The Bible says that Esau “despised his birthright.”

This small victory was not enough for Jacob and Rebekah.  They wanted it to be official.  Somehow, they needed Isaac to be the one to give the blessing to Jacob.  They made their plans to trick Isaac into giving the birthright to him.  They dressed Jacob in some of Esau’s clothing and put goatskins on Jacob’s arms and neck so he would feel hairy as Esau did.  They prepared Isaac’s favorite meal, which Esau, his choice son, always made for him.  Jacob, the trickster, served the food to him.  Isaac was blind, and he was not sure who he was talking with.  It sounded like Jacob, but when he felt Jacob’s hands and the back of his neck and smelled the clothes that had Esau’s scent, Isaac was fooled.  Jacob had “supplanted” the truth.  After the meal, Isaac spoke the blessing, and he mistakenly gave Esau’s birthright to Jacob, thinking that he was talking with Esau.  Rebekah and Jacob had been successful at stealing from Esau what was rightly his by birth.

Their scheme was fruitful!  Rebekah had helped her son do evil.  She could have stopped Jacob and allowed him to develop his character by doing right.  He was of age, old enough to know better.  Instead of helping him, his mother encouraged his sin.  Yes, they succeeded, but it did not honor God or the family.  What a horrendous thing it is when parents take their children down the wrong paths.  Children will figure out enough sinful ideas on their own without mom and dad teaching them more.  Shame on the parent or anyone who misleads or harms a child!  Jesus taught,

“And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:5-6).

Although Jacob did not realize it at the time, this sin against his brother will limit his family choices later on.  He will always be on the run, having to look over his shoulder, keeping an eye out for Esau.  This sin will add pressure to his family life later.

Join us again as we see how Jacob’s past sin did not just go away.  It kept causing problems for him.  See you tomorrow!


Quote:  “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection”[2] (Anon).




[1] This should have been a tipoff to Jacob.  Anytime we think it is alright to sin to get what we want, how can God be in that?  He is not!  Sin is sin, and God will have no part of it.  Jacob and Rebekah’s scheming and manipulation will get Jacob what he is craving.  Still, it will cause years of misery and pain in his life.  It will also be reflected in how he raises his family.  For all these years he is running from Esau his brother, because of his past sinful choices.  This illustrates how past sins can change the present, making life far different from what we have planned, and making us fearful of what may come in the future.  This is not what God wants for His child’s life.  His way is always best!
[2] Quote Downloaded: Monday, February 22, 2021.  From: