Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
The story of Jacob and Esau begins with the story of Isaac and Rebekah. It is a warning as to what happens when favoritism is shown and love isn’t shared equally when it should be.
Jacob, despite a name which was true to his nature – “deceiver”, was the one whom God had chosen to bless. This was announced while they were still in the womb, that the younger child would be the greater one. This didn’t mean that his parents were to treat the two sons differently, but rather it was a prophecy of what was to take place.
What happened though was that the parents did play favorites based on their own preferences. Isaac had more affection for his son Esau because he was a hunter and Jacob liked the taste of wild game. Jacob was favored by his mother. In the end it didn’t end well as Jacob deceived Isaac and stole Jacob’s birthright and blessing. He ended up fleeing from his brother’s wrath in fear of his life.
Jacob didn’t completely learn his lesson about the danger of playing favorites however and he would feel the pain of playing favorites just like his father Isaac did. As he showed favoritism to his son Joseph, his other sons became angry and sold Joseph into slavery but convinced Jacob that he had been killed.
We are called to love but we must make sure that the love that we show is impartial and that it is given without showing favoritism.