The earth is filled with people of many nations. The human race is decorated with all colors, creed, customs, languages, tribes, and tongues. Each group strategically placed in different parts of the world; each with a unique function. Unfortunately, when many nations dwell together, disagreements are a given. War is the result of nations attempting to occupy one space without clear boundaries. Is it possible for many nations to coexist, yet remain independent? Families like nations have a connected heritage, yet many live like a divided nation. The Bible reveals one such story; the story of Jacob and Esau, twins at war inside their mother’s womb.
The Book of Genesis, chapter 25, tells how these twins struggled against each other inside the womb of their mother, Rebekah. She did not understand the fight going on inside of her, so she inquired of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, “Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and, the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and, the elder shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25: 22-23). As Rebekah gave birth, Esau was the firstborn and Jacob came out moments later. After both sons had been delivered, Jacob, the younger of the two, grabbed the heel of the eldest, Esau.
As the twins grew, Esau became a cunning hunter and Jacob was labeled as a “plain man” who stayed closed to his mother near the tents. As we know, Esau returned home from a hunt starved. Jacob had prepared a meal (soup) and offered it to his starving brother in exchange for his birthright. Warfare began. Hatred brewed in the heart of Esau due to the deceptive act of his younger brother. Both remained hostile towards each other until God changed the heart of each man (Genesis 23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33).
How is it that siblings raised in the same household, the same parents, and the same teachings, become so different? One sibling does what is expected, while the other chooses a path of difficulty. Of course, each person is a unique individual within their own right, but this total contrast is profound. Parents question the dissimilarity occurring within the household. There is no one size fits all remedy for a divided nation. Every aspect of a nation must be taken into account in order to reach an agreement. In order to get a full snapshot the family/nation, one must understand that each person’s contributions, as well as, expectations are different. Although the heritage makes the connection, the experiences, influences, personalities, and perspectives may vary. Therefore, friction is inevitable. Boundaries that are unclear or overlap leads to role confusion…conflict follows.
Eventually, Jacob and Esau’s relationship healed. Apologies were exchanged and accepted. The love they had for each other out weighed the walls of resentment, bitterness, envy, and bitterness built over the years. After the relationship was restored, both brothers understood that the weight of both carrying a nation would be too hectic, so they both separated. One brother went to the eastern countries and the other brother headed a different direction. Each nation within itself was blessed with peace and prosperity. The Bible warns that “a kingdom divided against itself, cannot stand” and “a house divided against itself, cannot stand” (Mark 3:24-25). Reconciliation is possible. Amen!!
Written by Laura Alexander