From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing.- Genesis 27:41a
Isaac had grown very old and was almost totally blind. He called for his elder son, Esau, to grant the blessing of the first-born son before he passed away. Isaac sent Esau out to hunt and prepare his favorite dish, but Rebekah heard of it and set up a deception to get Jacob blessed instead of Esau. The plan worked, and Jacob received the blessing. When Esau learned of the trickery, he hated his brother and planned to kill him.
Esau really had no “right” to even receive the first-born son’s blessing because he’d sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of beans. We don’t know if Isaac ever learned of Esau’s hatred of his first-born status, but we know that he did sell it to satisfy his hunger. He despised it, so the Bible tells us. Then, later, as Isaac prepares to pass on and wants to bless Esau, Jacob deceives his dad into blessing him, which causes Esau to hate his brother only more.
I nor the LORD condone Jacob’s actions nor those of Rebekah, which were wrong all the way around. It also lends support to the adage that two wrongs don’t make a right. Jacob should have been forthcoming with his family and explained that his older brother sold him the birthright because of his foolishness over selling it for a bowl of beans. Both sons exhibited great foolishness and lack of wisdom in their young adult years.
Thus, it brings us to the point for today. If you’ve messed up and suffered the consequence of your actions, don’t blame someone else. Don’t even despise that person because you’ll lose out in more ways than one. Sibling rivalries have been around since Cain and Abel, but they don’t have to breakdown families and cause rifts between brothers (or sisters or brother and sister). We, as believers in Messiah, have to learn to trust in the Holy Spirit for direction and guidance in our lives in order to avoid such controversy.
Jesus warns us through John the apostle,
- If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. 1 John 2:9
- But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness. 1 John 2:11
- Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. 1 John 3:15
- If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 1 John 4:20
You can see the damage and devastation caused by hating one’s brother (or sister). We must learn to walk in the love and compassion that Jesus exhibited in this life and still does to us through His saving grace. Let’s follow the golden rule of treating others the way we want to be treated and love our neighbors (which includes family) as ourselves. We can’t blame others for the troubles we bring on ourselves.
Father, help me not to be abrasive toward my spouse and not to be quick to cast dispersion against her because of the mistakes I make. Yes, I know there will be times where she does things that will annoy and upset me, but help to respond correctly in love in those times too. However, help me to exercise more self-control as Your Spirit develops it within me. I want to be more compassionate, understanding, merciful, gracious, and loving as You are toward me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.