Let's Talk About Family Feuds

by Melissa Slocum

Every week you’ll find different types of posts here on the ABS blog. Today’s post is for teachers, to encourage conversation and reflection in your Bible study group. Each “Let’s Talk About” activity can be used at any time during your meeting and lasts approximately 10-15 minutes.

Today, let's talk about...


Genesis 27

Key Verse:

Esau was furious at Jacob because his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, When the period of mourning for the death of my father is over, I will kill my brother. —Genesis 27:41


Much of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, is the story of the family of Abraham, the father of God’s people. While we often regard Abraham and the members of his family as great heroes of faith, they were far from perfect and didn’t always get along with one another. Abraham’s son, Isaac, and Issac’s wife, Rebekeh, had issues involving their twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Scripture tells us that Esau and Jacob were fighting with each other inside the womb. Esau was born first; but Jacob was close behind, gripping his brother’s heel (see Genesis 25:25-26). Isaac and Rebekeh each had a favorite son, and the brothers ended up in competition with each other.

As the firstborn son, Esau was entitled to his father’s blessing and a greater share of the inheritance. But, in what had to be a low point for the family, Rebekeh and Jacob conspired to trick Isaac—taking advantage of his failing eyesight—into blessing Jacob instead of Esau. Esau vowed revenge. As a result Isaac’s family was mired in dysfunction and discord for years.


Questions to Discuss:

What was each person’s role in this family’s discord?

What could each person have done differently?

How can jealousy, bitterness, and dishonesty hurt relationships? What happens when these conflicts go unresolved?

How can holiday gatherings bring out the worst in families?

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