Playing Favorites

The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”—Genesis 25:27–28 (NIV)

Being a parent is wonderful, rewarding, and amazing, but it’s also an extremely challenging thing. I believe my job as a father to two wonderful kids is to raise them up in the ways of the Lord, love and care for them, and be the kind of father that points them to the Everlasting Father. However, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. As much as I desire to reflect the Father, I consistently fail to do so. On a daily basis, I reevaluate, realign, and repent of my shortcomings as I seek to grow as a Christ-following parent and shepherd. 

So, Christian parents, please take note: We are not perfect. We do dumb things and mess up all the time. Today’s passage gives us a perfect example of imperfect parenting. You see, Jacob and Esau were twins, but they were very different people. Esau was an outdoorsman while Jacob was a city boy. They couldn’t be more different. And guess what? That’s okay. God made them unique, individual, and wonderful. 

But as flawed, imperfect humans, Isaac and Rebekah chose favorites based on which child they related to best. About this, theologian Joseph Benson said, “The conduct of both these parents was blamable: they had but these two children, and the father was peculiarly attached to the one, and the mother to the other. And this improper partiality gave occasion to that strife which once threatened their being deprived of them both. Such partiality should be carefully guarded against in parents, as being both sinful in itself, and of dangerous tendency.”

Aren’t you glad God doesn’t play favorites? Truth is, we’re all His favorites and He loves each and every one of us perfectly, completely, and unconditionally. 

This is what the Word says about His love for us: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV). In Acts 10:34–35 (NIV), the apostle Peter declares, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him . . .” 

He accepts and adopts as beloved sons and daughters every single person who comes to Him; He makes princes and princesses, heirs out of everyone who believes in His Son! As He said about Jesus in Matthew 3:17 (NIV), He says about you: “This is my son (or daughter), whom I love; with him I am well pleased." 

Let us never forget this. Let us never allow the enemy to deceive us into believing that He loves us more or less than He does anyone else. He loves us with a perfect love.

DIG: What is the difference between the parentage of God and our earthly parents?

DISCOVER: What is the danger of favoritism?  

DO: Thank the Lord today for His perfect love, and find ways to celebrate the uniqueness of our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.