If you have siblings or multiple children, you probably understand the tension that exists between siblings. Often, the tension may seem completely silly, but it is still there.
Rabekah’s War in the Womb was definitely a precursor to the strife between the brothers. Twins (or multiples) generally do push and pull (and kick and punch) each other as they try to get comfortable. In a place that usually fits one, in now shared by more than that. The room is not infinitely expandable (ask any mother of multiples).
The quick glimpses into their lives and their relationship with one another are quite jarring. Esau did not seem to be a future thinker. Surrendering his inheritance for a bowl of stew is not a sterling example of good thinking. Culturally, it would be viewed as having contempt for his father. Isaac was asked to move as he was too powerful, wealthy, and successful. This is the inheritance that Esau sold to sate his stomach.
Jacob is no sterling example, either. He took advantage of his brother’s hunger. Later, he took advantage of his father’s infirmities (granted, at the direction of his mother) to claim the blessing, too. He took the last thing that Esau could have received from his father. On top of that, his mother even told him it was his responsibility, despite setting him to the task. Then he ran away (again, at the direction of his mother).
The history of Jacob is not a great example. This is the family into which Joseph was born.
1) What lessons as a parent and as a child can we take away from this story?
2) What emotional and spiritual baggage do you think a person would carry away from this family?
3) Where do you see similarities to your own family story? What baggage did you get with that similarity?