Do Parents Have Favorites? Rebekah Did! (Genesis 27:6)

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I’m pretty sure very kid charges their parents with playing favorites at some point.

It’s only natural. One child thinks their punishment is harsher, the other kids treat sweeter, or some other kind of inequality. And since the people making these accusations are children, their opinion is probably missing a smidge of objectivity.

I would argue that most parents at least try to keep it even. They may not always be successful, but at least they’re putting forth some effort to love their children the same.

Rebekah didn’t even try.

Of the two, there’s no question that she loved Jacob more. Maybe that’s because Jacob was a peaceful man that “dwelt in tents,” which meant he was around the house more (whereas Esau was a hunter who was likely gone most of the time).

I’ve also heard people argue that since Rebekah knew that “the older would serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23), that she was just trying to speed up that process by helping Jacob steal the birthright.

It doesn’t really matter though, does it? It doesn’t matter why Rebekah favored Jacob, it only matters that she did.

And in her quest to make Jacob the one to inherit the blessing, she essentially stripped it from her other son, Esau. Can you imagine intentionally doing that to your child?

This is why I’m thankful that God is not a “respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). Of all the qualities of God, this isn’t the one that we often think about, but it’s absolutely one we should be thankful for. 

I am so grateful for the fact that God didn’t write me off when I made all of my mistakes in my teen years. Or my 20s. Or, now, in my 30s. And for as long as God gives me years to live, I’ll be thankful that He stays with me through those mistakes as well.

Unlike Rebekah, God doesn’t steal from one child to give to another. Any blessings He gives to you are yours, not ones that are taken from someone else. The parable of the Twelfth-Hour Laborers shows that God’s eye is “merciful”; He gives to all as He sees fit.

What a blessing that is for all of us.