Twins of Contention

Twins of Contention
July 2, 2011 Neil Kennedy

The Biblical account of Isaac and Rebekah demonstrates the contention between the two natures of man.  They had twin boys who wrestled within Rebekah’s womb, causing her to have horrific pains in her pregnancy.  She sought God for an answer to what was happening within her.

God answered by saying, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

God spoke to the generations within her, prophesying their future.  When it came time for their birth, the twins were in contention.  The first child to arrive was covered with red hair, so they named him Esau, which means Red.  Grasping the heel of Red was Jacob, which means to grasp the heel, or figuratively means to deceive.

Red was loved by his father.  He learned to be a skillful hunter, a man who liked to be out in the field.  He was loud, and rough-hewn.

Red wasn’t a thinker.  He didn’t have vision beyond his present appetite.  This exposed a weakness, his vulnerability to be deceived.

Rebekah loved Deceiver.  She schooled his quiet nature, kept him around the tents, dressed him in designer clothes, and taught him how to cook.  She also taught him the subtle techniques of deception.

Red came home from a failed day of hunting, when Deceiver welcomed him with a contract, “Will you trade a fresh bowl of stew for your birthright?”

Red’s stomach controlled his passion, so he made hasty decisions.  Haste leads to poverty (Proverbs 21:5).  Deceiver’s passion was his legacy; he would strive for significance, even if he achieved it through evil means.

This war between the natures of man continues to jostle back and forth.  You may have the two natures within you.  You may immediately identify with Red, or you may realize that you have a secret nature that relates to Deceiver.

This imbalance can stem from how we raise our children.  When a parent favors a child, they tend to put their imprint upon that child.  Isaac related to Esau, while Rebekah was devoted to Jacob.  Even though they were raised in the same household, they were parented separately, as if they were each living in a single-parent household.

We can see the devastating effects of single-parent households every day.  I can’t tell you how many horrific stories I’ve heard, where a fatherless boy is manipulated into deception by a predator because the boy needed a “daddy” in his life.  Boys crave the love of a father.

We need the balance of both natures. We need to be in the field, hunting, fishing, hiking, riding, exploring and adventuring, and we need to be thinking long term, so that our temporary appetites don’t forfeit our futures.


This article is an excerpt from the book Fivestarman—The Five Passions of Authentic Manhood by Neil Kennedy.  To learn more about Fivestarman or to order your copy of Fivestarman—The Five Passions of Authentic Manhood please visit

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