FAMILY CONFLICT

FAMILY CONFLICT

Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)  Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”  “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”  But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.  Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.  So Esau despised his birthright. —Genesis 25:29-34

But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.” —Genesis 27:35

Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”  When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you. Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?” —Genesis 27:41-45

            Deception, death threats and distant journeys do not hinder the sovereignty of God.  No, His plan still moves forward and the deeds of man do not sidetrack Him.  That is not even an option, not even a possibility. 

            In the context of the verses above we see conflict and anger.  Jacob, urged by Rebekah his mother, deceives Isaac into thinking Jacob is Esau to receive his father’s blessing.  When Esau arrives with his father’s favorite stew from game he had just killed, he finds out that Jacob had already received his father’s blessing by pretending to be him.  He is one angry man and held such a grudge against Jacob that he planned to kill Jacob after their father’s death.  Conflict in families can cause great divides, anger, bitterness and hurt.

            Rebekah got wind of Esau’s plan to kill Jacob and she devised a plan to have him sent to her brother Laban’s home.  The pretense was that Jacob was to find a wife there and not among the people of the land as Esau had done.  And so that is what took place.  Isaac sent him away to Laban’s house.

            Rebekah had told Jacob to “Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”  We will see that Rebekah’s word never came and Jacob’s stay with Laban would be two decades!  Fortunately in the end there was forgiveness…

            Is there conflict in your family?  Jesus calls us to forgive.  It is not an option for the follower of Jesus— “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). Unforgiveness brings a serious consequence! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmA7hDYKSAg&index=4&list=UUf1NPIFOBwzTLVQiEDnq4Cw

Dear Father, help me to have a forgiving attitude.  May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.    

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