After I post about Christian Disunity, another question pop up to me. What is the root cause of disunity? I would like to refer to the book of Genesis for insights. This book teaches us about the origin of the world, it tells us about who is the Creator, and what are the creations. That is why I find it useful to look at this book to find out it has to say about the root cause of disunity.


There are three stories of disunity that I found out. The first story is the disunity of Ishmael, and Hagar from Abraham’s family (Gen 21:8-21). We know of this famous story, a man named Abram, called by God to go to a promise land, and God also promised him with many descendants. But at his old age (85 years old) he was worried because he has no son. So his wife, Sarah suggested him to take her maid whose name was Hagar. Then she gave birth to Ishmael. 14 years later, Sarah gave birth to Isaac. Now there is a conflict here, because the blessing of the Covenant supposed to be given to Isaac, however Ishmael is the first born (The tradition back then is to give the blessing of the inheritance to the first born). Abraham tried to resolve the conflict (verse 14) by sending Ishmael and Hagar away from the family.

The second story is the disunity between Jacob and Esau (Gen 27: 1-46). Esau and Jacob are Isaac’s non identical twin. Esau was born slightly earlier that Jacob. Jacob is very ambitious to get the birth right, that is why Jacob asked Esau to sell his birth right (Gen 25: 27-34). The disunity happens when Jacob and his mother,Rebekah tricked Isaac to give his blessing to Jacob by asking Jacob to pretend to be Esau. When Esau found out he was very angry and he intended to kill Jacob (verse 41). In order to avoid Esau’s anger, Jacob was sent away.

The third story is the disunity of Joseph from his 11 brothers (Gen 37: 1-36). Joseph is the 11th son of Isaac/Jacob. He is the first son of the beloved wife, Rachel. Jacob loved his son unequally, and Joseph was the most beloved son. He gave Joseph a long robe with sleeves but not to the other brothers. The other brothers were working in the field but Joseph was staying at home with Isaac. This unequal treatment created jealousy, the brothers hated Joseph so much such that they plotted to kill him. Fortunately his life was sparred but Joseph was sold as a slave to Egypt.

From these three stories what can we observe regarding the root cause of disunity? Ishmael was born because Abraham started to doubt that Sarah will give birth to a son. He thought that he needs to take another woman in order to give him a son. Even Sarah also thought the same thing. But God showed them that He can do the impossible, Isaac was born. Jacob and his mother tricked Isaac by making Jacob to pretend as Esau. Jacob lied to his father when he said “I am Esau, your first born”. The 11 brothers were jealous of Joseph, they were full of hatred and intend to kill their own brother.

In these three stories the disunity were caused by a transgression. Abraham doubting God’s promise. Jacob was lying to his father and robbed Esau’s blessing. The hatred caused by jealousy of Joseph’s brother almost got him killed. These transgression, or I rather say sin, is the root cause of disunity.

Do you agree that the root cause of disunity is sin? Share your thought at the comment section below.