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July 5, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. 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 25:24–28 (NIV)
Being a parent is rewarding, but it’s also extremely challenging. My job as a father of two 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 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.
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 every one of us unconditionally.
In Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV), the Lord says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” 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 adores every single person who comes to Him; He makes heirs out of everyone who believes in His Son! As He said about Jesus in Matthew 3:17 (NIV), so He says about you: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Let us never allow the enemy to deceive us into believing He loves us more or less than He does anyone else. He loves us with a perfect love.
With this in mind, I pray we remember Jesus’ command to His people: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34 NIV). No favoritism or tribalism! Can you imagine what that world would look like if we as disciples loved others and one another as our Master loves us?
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.