There is a fault line that runs through families, and it is all too visible in Isaac’s family. If we are honest, we find ourselves somewhere in their story. The catalog of sin, much of which follows a generational pattern, is heartbreaking:
Isaac and Rebekah play favorites, hurting both their marriage and their children. Each son seems wounded not only by the snub of one parent but also by the inordinate love of the other.
Jacob is calculating and manipulative, pouncing to take Esau’s birthright at an opportune moment.
Esau is impulsive, selfish, and controlled by his appetite. [His] “god is his belly… [his] mind is set on earthly things” (Phil.3:19). Esau despises his birthright and lives as if God and his promises do not matter.
Isaac lies and tries to pass his wife off as his sister, putting his safety above hers. There is no sense that Isaac trusts God to protect him and his family in Gerar. Isaac takes matters into his own hands in a way that could have been disastrous had God not intervened.
Isaac proceeds to arrange for Esau’s blessing even though it runs counter to God’s prophetic word that the elder shall serve the younger. He does not seem to seek God’s direction and counsel in this weighty matter.
Rebekah knows the prophecy but does not wait on the Lord to move. She plots deception upon deception, against her husband and Esau, in order to orchestrate events. It is frightening how a mother’s love can be so warped.
Jacob is the deceiver. Everything is a lie: his clothes, his hands, his words, his kiss, his scent, as well as the food he brings and the name he claims.
Esau’s hurt and pain are palpable, and he comforts himself by planning to kill Jacob. What a sick comfort.
“No one is righteous, no not one” (Rom.3:10). In Isaac’s family, as in all families, everyone is sinful and everyone is sinned against. Sin is complex, working differently in different people but with the same deadly, destructive purpose. It is hard to imagine a more dysfunctional family.
What is incredible is that God does not walk away from this family. Not only does God not walk away, he moves toward them and renews his covenant with Isaac. Why would God do that? It is his loving kindness, his grace at work. God is with Isaac not because of Isaac’s faithfulness but because of God’s faithfulness. This is the nature of God’s covenantal love, a sure love that does not let go.
Even more astonishing, God chooses Jacob to receive the blessing. Why, of all the people, why Jacob? Again, it is God’s extravagant grace at work. To quote Tim Keller, “This is therefore the primary example in the Old Testament of the ‘scandalousness’ of God’s grace. God chooses and loves and stays with a disdainful character, unworthy and unvalued.”  God loves the wayward Jacob as He will love the wayward nation of Israel.
God’s grace is the thread that runs throughout the scriptures. To be loved with a love that will not let go despite our lies, our selfishness, and our wrong is life changing. God’s kindness melts hard hearts and leads to a repentance that makes forgiveness and reconciliation possible, even between these brothers whose wrestling goes back to the womb. When Jacob, now Israel, returned home, “… Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him and they wept” (Gen.33:4). God’s extravagant amazing grace changes everything, in their lives and in our own. His love is a love that does not let go.
 Keller, Timothy J.; Genesis: What Were We Put in the World to Do? Small Group Study, Leaders Guide. Study 20: “Jacob and the Blessing”, p. 178.