Genesis #24 – Why Are Siblings the Most Frustrating Relationships?

In this sermon from Genesis 27 and the first part of Genesis 28, we see sibling rivalry at its worst in the story of Jacob and Esau when parents favor one child over another. Pastor Mark preaches on how family division can lead to family deception, devastation, and dispersion.

Gen 1-2 vs 3: Fall – families affected first (Adam/Eve) & (Cain/Abel)

We live w/the pain but don’t understand the problem =We seek answers

  1. Internally (mind, emotions, gut, passions)
  2. Externally (philosopher, counselor, politician, parent, guru)

People less & less likely to turn to the Bible & live under it’s authority

Americans Who Believe the Bible is the Literal Word of God (Gallup)

1980    40%                 1984    40%                 2017    24%                 2022    20%

American Christians Beliefs About the Bible 2022 (Gallup)

Perfect: Literal Word of God                                         25%

Imperfect: Inspired Word of God not literal                   58%

Myth: Ancient book of fables                                        16%

-Why not the Bible? Give it a try. #1 selling & translated. (I did)

-Genesis – 4000 years ago = tested & proven

-3 Generations – Abraham/Sarah (dead) – Isaac/Rebekah (disappear die 35:28-29)- Jacob/Esau

Sin comes to your marriage & family. ???? Will you invite God into your marriage & family??????

Family Division

Genesis 27 When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, 4 and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.” 5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the LORD before I die.’ 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. 9 Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. 10 And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” 11 But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” 13 His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.” 14 So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

Twin boys

·         Division: Womb – Birth – Childhood – Adulthood

·         Parents play favorites A). Isaac & Esau 27:1 “my son”; B). Rebekah & Jacob 27:8 “my son”

TODAY: You deal with your son/daughter.                       Blended family.

Father’s blessing (birthright not set by father; blessing given by father)

  1. Emotional – healing
  2. Spiritual – anointing
  3. Practical – LIKE WILL: legal head, 2x inheritance, Promised Land

= MEAL: Usually public. ?Private = sinful & shameful.

? Isaac at least 100. He lives 20-80 more years, so this is premature

Family Deception

Genesis 27:18 So he went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.” 20 But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the LORD your God granted me success.” 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. So he blessed him. 24 He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.” 25 Then he said, “Bring it near to me, that I may eat of my son’s game and bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed!  28 May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. 29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!”

Marriage Lessons

1.    Your priorities should also be your loyalties 1. God 2. Spouse 3. Child

2.    The couple at war to win what they want needs to stop & worship to find what God wants.

Parenting Lessons

  1. Marriage problems become parenting problems
  2. Parenting makes things better, over parenting makes things worse
  3. Covert family systems are corrupt family systems

Personal Lessons

1.    Hate sin, not just consequences. =Jacob – getting caught vs sin God/dad/bro

2.    Rom. 14:23 whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

3.    The means do not justify the ends (Jacob is God’s chosen, but not this way)

Gen 25:23 the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”

Family Devastation

Genesis 27:30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me.” 32 His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” 33 Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.” 34 As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” 35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.” 36 Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37 Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. 39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: “Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from the dew of heaven on high. 40 By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck.” 41 Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran 44 and stay with him a while, until your brother’s fury turns away— 45 until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?” 46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I loathe my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?”

Esau = unbelieving brother

  • Birthright – from Heavenly Father (did not care)        =VILLAIN
  • Blessing – from Earthly Father (did care)                  =VICTIM

=Villain (birthright) & Victim (blessing) = deceit – both Jacob & Esau deceive Esau

Family Dispersion

Genesis 28 Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. 2 Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. 3 God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4 May he give the blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring with you, that you may take possession of the land of your sojournings that God gave to Abraham!” 5 Thus Isaac sent Jacob away. And he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother. Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and gone to Paddan-aram. So when Esau saw that the Canaanite women did not please Isaac his father, Esau went to Ishmael and took as his wife, besides the wives he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth.

ESAU:             1.Tough – hunts, fights.                      2.Godless – polygamous unbelieving wives.

3. Foolish – tries to marry more women from Hagar’s line (meant well, chose poorly)


1.    Kids often don’t hate the parents, but do hate each other.

2.    Reality comes eventually

3.    Both sons will be lost. Jacob murdered. Esau convicted for murder. = 100’s of mi away. Blood is thicker than wisdom (extended family tends to take your side)

4.    Some sins are generational.

-Rebekah deceiver/controller & SON JACOB; & BRO LABAN (20 yrs)

5.    Time doesn’t heal family wounds (bro’s don’t speak 20 yrs, Rebekah dies w/o seeing Jacob)


?Identify Esau – not too late for you

?Identify Jacob – he does change & you can too

?Identify Rebekah – repent & restore

?Identify Isaac – repent & bless

?Family = nation Israel, priest/prophets/kings, Temple, OT, John Bap, 12 disc, & Jesus!


God’s grace (use vs abuse)

God’s sovereignty (God is good & bigger than evil)


= Genesis 50:19-20 Joseph & his brothers

  1. Grace – I’m not the judge, God is
  2. Sovereignty – you did evil, God used it for good


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Mark Driscoll

It's all about Jesus! Read More