God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).

Saturday, March 20, 2021

What Can We Learn from Isaac and Rebekah's Parental Mistakes?


Isaiah 44:3
by Barbara Latta

As women who have passed the middle point of our lives and have probably already raised our children, can we still glean value from Isaac and Rebekah’s mistakes?

Jacob and Esau took sibling rivalry to another whole level. You can read their story in Genesis 25:22-34 and Genesis 27-33.

The partiality of their parents fed the competition between the twins. Isaac loved Esau more and Rebekah loved Jacob.

God had told Rebekah before the babies were born that the elder would serve the younger. Rebekah wanted Jacob to be blessed as the firstborn so much she was willing to commit trickery to see it come to pass.

The Bible doesn’t tell us if Rebekah told Isaac about the prophecy God gave her regarding the boys. But rather than wait for God, she followed in her mother-in-law’s steps and manipulated the promise of God her way.

If Isaac knew about God’s words to Rebekah, maybe he forgot about it. Or his emotions were so strongly attached to Esau as the oldest, Isaac wanted to bless him as the firstborn.

Either way, Jacob was blessed in place of Esau, but it came about through deception. And deception is not God’s will. But this story also gives us lessons in God's mercy and grace.

Because Isaac and Rebekah didn’t wait for God to fulfill what He had promised, the family was divided by strife. Jacob had to flee from his brother’s anger. And the seeds planted in Jacob’s life brought treachery back upon him when he was cheated by his father-in-law, Laban.

The perils of partiality cost this family years of misery. Who knows what guilt Isaac and Rebekah lived with after the day of deceptive firstborn blessing?

The more years we live the more opportunity the condemning voice of the enemy has to remind of us of mistakes we made. Some parents may live with children like Jacob and Esau and struggle with different feelings for their offspring. Or we make unintentional wrong decisions and they leave us struggling with regret.

We know we should cooperate and obey Him, but we don’t always do that. We can fall into the same pit as our biblical predecessors and manipulate circumstances to fit our own plan when God's voice gets filtered through reason or our own desires.

The family suffered the consequences of the lies and trickery. But God in His mercy still blessed Jacob in his life and He also gave an inheritance to Esau (Genesis 33:9).

God's mercy restores us

And despite our sins and mistakes when we trust Him, His mercy blesses us too. It’s never too late to apply God’s Word to any situation.

Joel 2:25 tells us that God will restore the years the locust has eaten.

And although my children are grown, I still stand on this scripture in Isaiah for them.

For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring; They will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses, one will say, “I am the Lord’s”; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; another will write with his hand, “The Lord’s” and name himself by the name of Israel (Isaiah 44:3-5 NKJV).

We can learn from Isaac and Rebekah’s mistakes with their children, but we can also see how God is merciful in the middle of the chaos. As we have learned these lessons, we can pass them on to future generations with the encouragement of following God’s will and the truth that His mercy never ends. 

What do you think about this biblical lesson? Share your thoughts.

Despite our sins and mistakes when we trust God He restores andblesses us. (click to tweet)

As women who have passed the middle point of our lives and have probably already raised our children, can we still glean value from Isaac and Rebekah’s mistakes? (click to tweet)






  1. Isaac and Rebekah's story reminds us of the importance of not showing favoritism to one child over the other. While we recognize that our children are unique in their abilities and talents, we must take the example of God and love them equally. Thanks for sharing this lesson that is important, no matter what our age.

    1. I wonder if Jacob remembered the favoritism shown to him when he favored Joseph. This also bred discontent among the other brothers. A lesson for all of us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Katherine. Blessings!

  2. My children chide each other over who is my favorite--tongue in cheek--I hope. May they as adults know my favor but God's more. Great message for us all.

    1. Nancy, I think all children think someone is the favorite from time to time (lol). And yes we should know God's favor more than any other. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings!

  3. Thank you Barbara for this lesson. I think we see principles here--not just for parenting--but life_ wait on God--don't manipulate and run ahead of Him, trust what He says, and don't show favoritism--the latter even in grandparenting.

    1. Marilyn, that is so true. We can get in a hurry and try to get ahead of God. But His timing is always perfect. And yes, we shouldn't show favorites in the grandparenting area either. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

  4. Barbara, your post reminded me of the serious consequence of sin, including showing favoritism, but the story also points to God's mercy and grace and gives me increased desire to obey Him.