Past Choices, Present Calamity (Part 2 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 25, 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 2

Yesterday:  Jacob’s Past Sin Limits His Present Choices
Shamefully, Rebekah, Jacob’s mom, has helped him to steal Esau’s birthright.  We ought never instruct our child in how to do wrong! She taught her son a terrible lesson that day, and it will affect his life badly for many years to come.


Today:  Past Sin Does Not Go Away on its Own

Jacob and Rebekah were successful in stealing Esau’s birthright!  But this is not the end of the story.  This sin will immediately begin to limit Jacob’s freedom with his family.  From now on, he will be a hunted man!

Not long after Jacob left his dad’s tent, Esau came in to feed Isaac his favorite meal.  Isaac said that he had already eaten and given away the birthright.  It was then that Isaac and Esau realized what “the trickster” Jacob had done.  This so angered Esau that he wanted to kill his brother.  To avoid the conflict that was surely coming, Isaac and Rebekah blessed Jacob.[1]  They sent him away to live with his Uncle Laban (Rebekah’s brother) (Genesis 27:42-43; 28:1-5).  Sadly, for the next twenty years, Jacob and Esau are estranged from each other.

Life with Uncle Laban
Through his time with his uncle, Jacob served him.  Jacob agreed that he would work seven years to marry his love, Rachel, Laban’s younger daughter.  Jacob adored Rachel so much, the time flew by.  At his wedding, Jacob was married “accidentally” by fraud, to Laban’s veiled older daughter Leah, whom the groom did not love or want.  It was not until the next morning, after the wedding night, and when he saw her by the light of day, that Jacob realized he had married the wrong girl!  Ironically “the trickster,” has been tricked!  Jacob is understandably angry at his father-in-law Laban.  To appease Jacob, Laban will let him marry Rachel, his beloved, just after his honeymoon with Leah is over.  But of course, “the fine print” said that Jacob will need to work to earn her.  This means a longer servitude to Uncle Laban.  He will work another seven years to pay for Rachel.  While Jacob is upset with his uncle, he must have recalled that the very reason he is there serving him is that he sinned against his brother.  His sin against Esau has complicated his life.

As the years pass by, children are born, and Jacob’s family grows.  Still, after all this time, he and his family are in hiding from his brother Esau.  Jacob’s impatience and poor choices in his youth have impacted his family more than he could have ever realized.  When he made his plans with his mom to steal Esau’s birthright, he saw his future much differently.  But now, his past will not leave him alone!

Jacob must have had second thoughts about what he did to his brother.  But after all these years, how could he ever hope to make things right with him again?  Tomorrow we will see that God begins helping Jacob to get right with Him and eventually with his brother also.


Quote:  “It’s Satan’s delight to tell me that once he’s got me, he will keep me.  But at that moment, I can go back to God.  And I know that if I confess my sins, God is faithful and just to forgive me”[2] (Alan Redpath).




[1] It seems strange that his parents could bless Jacob after he has so blatantly wronged his brother.  Why didn’t they require him to face up to his brother and make things right?  We must remember that they didn’t have the full scriptures as we do now.
[2] Redpath’s quote Downloaded: Monday, February 22, 2021.  From: