Four Members Of A Dysfunctional Family
—An ordinary family with an extraordinary promise—

By David J. Stewart | March 2014

Genesis 27:33-35, “And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.”

       There are no perfect families. Every family is dysfunctional to some extent. In Genesis chapter 27 we read about a very dysfunctional family. We find four family members: Isaac, his wife Rebekah, and their two sons, Jacob and Esau. The entire family was a mess. God had appeared to Rebekah while she was pregnant with twins, and told her that Esau would serve Jacob. Genesis 25:23, “And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” Isaac and Jacob picked favorites between their children. Jacob was a mama's boy, whom his mother preferred; whereas Esau was shaving at 2-years of (a man's man whom Isaac preferred). We see in the Bible that all four family members were manipulators, connivers and lacked faith in God.

Here are the four dysfunctional family members . . .

  1. THE UNSPIRITUAL FATHER (Genesis 27:1-4)
  2. THE UNSURRENDERED WIFE (Genesis 27:5-10)
  3. THE UNSCRUPULOUS (sneaky) BROTHER (Genesis 27:11-33)
  4. THE UNSAVED  (or profane person) MAN (Genesis 27:34-46)

Rebekah was a manipulator, as many wives are, doing things her own way. Instead of trusting God, she tried to take matters into her own hands. She lied and deceived her husband, betrayed Esau, and paid the consequences. When Jacob fled for his life, Rebekah never saw Jacob again for the rest of her life. This is such a sad story! Rebekah should have left the matter into God's hands.

Likewise, Isaac caused the situation by not honoring God's will. Esau was a profane man, who married ungodly wives. Isaac was selfish and enjoyed his roasted venison (deer) that Esau hunted and prepared for him. The Bible says in Genesis that Isaac LOVED Esau's venison dinner. Genesis 27:4, “And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.”

Jacob was a conniver, deliberately taking advantage of his brother's hunger, conning him out of his birthright. It's disgusting. Jacob stays in the tents with his mother, while Esau is out hunting to bring home dinner, and then Jacob refuses to feed Esau unless he gives up his birthright. I'm glad that Jacob got cheated down the road by Laban. When Jacob fled for his life to go live with Laban, his mother's brother, Laban cheated Jacob time-and-time again. Jacob worked for 7-years to marry Rachel, but got Leah instead. He had to work another 7-years for Rachel. He was stuck with Leah, even though he wanted Rachel only. Then Laban cheated Jacob financially TEN TIMES! Ten times Laban changed Jacob's wages, cheating him. Then God crippled Jacob, touching the hollow of his thigh. What goes around comes around. Jacob got what he deserved!

Esau was an unsaved heathen, who is in Hell today, having died in his sin of unbelief. Esau totally disregarded his parents wishes for him to marry into the Jewish faith (which back then was the Christian faith, but today is the satanic religion of Judaism). Esau dishonored his mother and father.

The entire family was dysfunctional. Rebekah had placed animal skins over Jacob's arm, so that Isaac (whose eyesight was poor) would think that Jacob was Esau, and bless him instead, thus stealing Esau's blessing. Esau was a rebellious, worldly and angry son. Rebekah was a lousy mother and manipulative wife. How did Isaac and Rebekah, who 20-years earlier trusted the Lord, deteriorate into the spiritual mess they were in?

Two leading causes of marital problems are:


Genesis 19:13, “A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.”

Some spiritual lessons that we learn from Isaac's dysfunctional family . . .

God Meant It For Good!—Genesis 50:20

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