One-Minute Bible Study



Breaking Loose



Genesis 27:27-42

·        When the twins, Jacob and Esau, were meeting again after years of estrangement, it appeared that their roles in life had been reversed

·        It was Jacob who was bowing down before Esau and Esau who was enjoying great prosperity

·        The blessing Jacob had received from their father, Isaac, was that he would be the one to succeed, to rule over his brother

·        The blessing Esau received was nothing more than a curse to serve his brother

·        However, Isaac had left this opening for Esau that  “when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck”

·        This yoke Esau had to wear is the yoke of servitude, of bondage, of dependency, of being destined to doom and gloom, of failing to enjoy life

·        The resentment and bitterness Esau had towards Jacob for what happened during their youth kept Esau in this yoke

·        In essence what Isaac was telling Esau was this: When you become tired of existing in that state of resentment and bitterness, you will break loose from the yoke of bondage

·        As long as you harbor ill feelings, you remain enslaved


I.  Breaking Loose From Personal Limitations

·        The deal Esau made with Jacob about his birthright showed that Esau was not too smart

·        Esau was the one who worked with his hands and who no one thought would make it academically

·        Part of the yoke he carried was made up of his own limitations

·        But the yoke is broken when he breaks loose from the thoughts that say he has to accept the status quo, that he cannot do better, that he cannot overcome them

·        Often those around will say this is how life is going to be

·        But you can say no.  You can break loose from the thinking that says you’re limited


II.  Breaking Loose From Family Values And Expectations

Genesis 28:6-9

·        Some families are not known to show affection and at times engage in dysfunctional behavior

·        What can Isaac and Rebekah expect of their children when they, too, exhibit favoritism (Isaac favored Esau, Rebekah Jacob), deception and trickery (Rebekah)

·        Out of resentment and bitterness, Esau married a Canaanite woman, just to spite his parents

·        Unconsciously we, too,  may engage in destructive behavior born out of resentment and bitterness

·        Another aspect of this yoke of bondage, then, has its roots in the fact that the family had low or no expectations of him

·        The yoke of bondage was reinforced when his parents by their actions indicated that it is okay to neglect those who cannot help you; it is okay to deceive; it okay to abandon any sense of integrity; it does not matter what you know, but who you know; honesty will get you nowhere; good guys finish last; everybody cheats to get ahead

·        And as long as you are yoked to these expectations and beliefs, you stay in servitude, in bondage, in humiliation

·        When you break loose from that thinking, then you break the yoke of bondage


III.  Breaking Loose From Emotional Strains

Genesis 33:1-16

·        Sometimes we suffer emotional trauma

·        Such was the case with Esau as he was harboring thoughts of murder, consoling himself by devising plans to kill his own brother

·        We, too, may have difficulties controlling our thoughts and emotions because of hurt, because of not being taken seriously, because of anxiety about the future

·        We cannot change what happened in the past or the family we were born into

·        But we can break loose from the thoughts and emotions that stem from them

·        For Esau, when he broke loose from the thoughts of retribution, he was able to break free from his yoke of bondage

·        By the time he met his brother Jacob again, Esau had already overcome his resentment and had already been set free


You may view the current and previous One Minute Bible Studies:


The God Of Second Chances (October, 2005)



Genesis 33:40 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.