The Solution to the Mess in Genesis 27

The mess made by Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob could have been avoided if they'd obeyed this important command. This short Bible study explains.

Before doing this study, read the one-minute introduction Deception Backfires

In Genesis 27, both Isaac and Rebekah showed ungodly favoritism toward different sons. They also displayed a superstitious belief in the first-born blessing. 

Even though God had told Rebekah that Jacob would be stronger and more important than his brother Esau, Rebekah didn't trust God to bring it about. Instead, she set up a plan to deceive her husband Isaac so Jacob could "steal" the first-born blessing.

Isaac, on the other hand, wanted to bless Esau with everything good and give Jacob a worthless blessing. Had he been generous toward both sons, he'd have had no regrets.

In every situation of our lives--big and small--we must trust God more than our earthly traditions, and we must seek to be fair-minded. 

If Rebekah and Jacob had considered Isaac's and Esau's feelings and Isaac had considered Rebekah's and Jacob's feelings, this story of deception, anger, and brokenness would not be in Scripture.

We all need to apply "the Golden Rule" to our lives:

Matthew 7:9-12: “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. 

The mess made by Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob could have been avoided if they'd obeyed this important command. This short Bible study explains.
Even though Matthew 7 was not yet written in Old Testament times, the Golden Rule was present in Old Testament teachings. For example, in Leviticus 19:18: "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord."

The verse below expresses the Golden Rule as well:

Philippians 2:3-4: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

This passage is especially meaningful in light of the emphasis our culture places on loving ourselves first and foremost. God's ways often collide with worldly philosophies.  

When we think of others first, we aren't simply making relationships better--we're obeying God. And we know that when we obey God, the rewards are multifaceted. Even if we see nothing good come of our efforts here on earth, we know they matter to God.

Are you treating your spouse as you want to be treated? Are you considering his/her desires or only thinking of yourself? Are you treating your parents as you one day want your children to treat you? Are you treating your co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family humbly and considerately? Take time today to pray through these questions. 

copyright, 2014, Gail Burton Purath,, edited and updated in 2023

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