"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Matthew 4:4


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Devotional Archives

TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, May 08, 2020:



Showing partiality to one person over another; showing preference for one over another.




My brothers, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism.
James 2:1.



Genesis 27 contains an ugly portrait of parental favoritism. This kind of favoritism is prevalent in families today. We read in this chapter that Isaac favored Esau and Rebecca, Isaac's wife, favored Jacob. Romans chapter 9 points out to us, that even before Jacob and Esau were born, God chose Jacob to carry on the covenant line of Abraham. God had also informed Isaac and Rebecca that "the older will serve the younger" (25:23).

Although Rebecca was well aware of God's promise, she would not refrain from allowing her feelings of favoritism toward Jacob to motivate her to take action. She schemed with Jacob to deceive Isaac, who was nearly blind, by disguising Jacob as Esau so that Isaac would give the blessing (the inheritance) which was to be given to the first-born, to Jacob instead of Esau. Rebecca's scheming to advance Jacob was both foolish and wrong. She was wrong to resort to deceit and make her son, Jacob part of it. She was foolish to think that God needed her help to accomplish His purpose and fulfill His promises. God does not need our help in carrying out His plans.

Like many of us today, Rebecca mistakenly told herself that the end justified the means. No matter how good we think our goals are, there is no justification for doing wrong to achieve them.

We ask you this question regarding this biblical account: Who was at fault, the parents or the children?  Rebecca thought she achieved the end she wanted but it came at a great cost. In choosing deceit, Rebecca so provoked Esau's hostility that Jacob, her favorite, was forced to flee and leave home and he never saw his mother again. Jacob was exiled from his family for years.

To complete the story, it is recorded in Chapter 27 verse 33 that Isaac realized he had been tricked concerning his inheritance. He favored Esau, but he also knew that God had chosen Jacob. Nevertheless, Isaac tried to meddle with God's promise for Jacob. Isaac intended that Esau should have the blessing according to tradition. The blessing should always go to the oldest son. God had intervened to prevent it. God's will prevailed and Isaac bestowed his blessing upon Jacob. Isaac could not change what had been done even though Esau asked Isaac for a blessing of his own. It is the parent's responsibility to be the spiritual leaders in their home and to counsel and guide their children in doing what is right.

Parents who desire to please the Lord and to have a loving Christian home will love and treat their children equally and teach their children to honor and respect their parents equally. Favoritism in the family leads to divisiveness.



Our memory verse for this week is found in Proverbs 16:3.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.



Help me to learn from the Biblical account of Isaac, Rebecca, Esau and Jacob. Help me to treat all of my children equally so that they feel equally loved. Keep me sensitive to other people's feelings as well, so that at all times I treat people equally and fairly.

Family Devotionals

These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International, and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family. Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily devotionals and is now available for only $10.

Ken & Dottie Phillips

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