What did Isaac pray for? How did God answer his prayer? What perplexed Rebekah about her pregnancy (v. 22)?
Power play is when you try to gain influence over someone else using human methods to achieve what belongs to God. Cite examples of how power play shows in the family, workplace, or church.
We learn from this passage three important principles about power to help us avoid planting the seed of rivalry in our different relationships. The first is that God’s ways are not our ways. Let Him decide (v. 23-26). What was God’s sovereign response to Rebekah’s question (v. 23)? Why would God reveal this to Rebekah? It must have been a shock to Isaac and Rebekah to hear that their younger son would rule over the older one. What was the culture during that time that determines who should succeed in life?
Describe the birth of the two sons. What were the meanings of their names? In God’s sovereign plan, He chose that the Messiah would come from Jacob, not Esau, but it didn’t mean that He didn’t love Esau. In fact, Esau became a great nation as well. How would you react that God’s way is not necessarily your way?
Overt favoritism fans the flames of rivalry. Avoid it! (v. 27-28). Describe how the twins Esau and Jacob grew up. Was it wrong that they differed in their personalities? What was the obvious shortcoming in Isaac and Rebekah’s parenting style that brought about a seed of rivalry between their sons? Discuss why overt favoritism fans the flames of rivalry.
God showed that He has no favoritism when He gave the same access to salvation to everyone. As a parent (or a future parent), share how favoritism can be avoided in raising your kids.
Value the spiritual over the temporal. Learn to wait (v.29-34). Describe how Esau and Jacob’s personalities and character showed in their actions. What were the specific mistakes in their actions? Why was Esau held responsible for his decision to give priority to his immediate need over the long-term blessing?
Do you have a tendency to be like Esau who obviously didn’t value what God had given him because of temporal needs? How do you compromise your faith when you choose temporal over spiritual matters?