A Family Divided…

Read Genesis 25
Focus on verse 28

Jacob and Esau were twin brothers but were hardly identical twins. As is often the case with siblings they were as different as night and day in nearly every way.
When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. (v. 27-28)
Isaac loved Esau…. Rebekah loved Jacob… I can imagine this may have caused more than a few intense discussions between Isaac and Rebekah. The level of dysfunction in the families of the patriarchs (at least by our cultural standards) is at first rather astounding, but as one begins to contemplate, it becomes evident that this may in fact be more encouraging than alarming. I say encouraging, because it reminds us that the people God chose to operate through were often far from perfect. They were more or less typical of the people of their time and culture. Certainly there are some exceptions, and nearly every one of them had some characteristic that was commendable. Noah was the only “righteous” man left on the planet, Abraham is known for his faith, others had notable qualities that were not so commendable… Isaac picked favorites amongst his children, and Jacob was a cheater, and a liar yet God chose to use them despite some rather glaring weaknesses. All these families had serious issues…and therein lies a great lesson for us…we don’t have to be perfect for God to use us.
As I observe the people around me, I find it increasingly difficult to identify anyone who is “normal”. What does that even mean anyway? …to be normal. I find myself agreeing with Erma Bombeck who claimed twenty years ago that normal is just a setting on your clothes dryer. I recently checked my clothes dryer and discovered that apparently even some clothes dryers have no normal setting anymore!
Perhaps a better term to use might be “healthy”, but even that likely has multiple interpretations. The point is… God does not require us to be perfect in order for Him to include us in His business. What He does require, is for us to be be willing. I have yet to meet a person whose family does not have some “issues”… even the ones that look all perfect form the outside… in fact, it is often these apparently perfect people who have the darkest secrets.
What this reveals to me then is once again the grace and mercy of God as He chooses to use us in spite of our issues… and in many cases actually uses our issues to bring about His will, to glorify Himself, and to reveal Himself to us. And, if we allow Him to, He may actually help us work through some of these issues as He continues to shape us into the image of Christ…who incidentally, would likely not have been considered normal by most people of His day.


About Dented-Knight

Peter Enns (aka - The Dented Knight) is a native of rural southern Manitoba, Canada. He is an ordained minister, the proprietor of LNE Web Services, father of four, grandfather of two, and life long husband of one. 
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