God has continually taken the side of those who are less fortunate. He more often than not favors the younger son which is not traditional for the times because the eldest son always got the inheritance during that time.
Joel Kaminsky gives different examples of younger sons that God chose over the eldest. He gives insight on the relationship God has with Cain and Abel, Joseph and his brothers, and Jacob and Esau. In analyzing the Cain and Abel story, he questions why one was chosen over the other and says, “The point to be noticed here is that God’s recurring mysterious elevation of the younger sibling over the older one strongly indicates that God’s attention to Abel’s sacrifice is not driven by either Abel’s proper or Cain’s improper behavior” (23). God has created a pattern of picking the younger brother and showing him favor. In the case of Cain and Abel, it creates conflict between the brothers. Ultimately, Abel loses his life because of Cain’s jealousy.
Jealousy takes over Israel’s sons when the youngest, Joseph, is favored. Joseph is the one given the gift of dreams by God. Israel also favored Joseph over the sons because Joseph was born to Israel’s favorite wife. The brothers’ anger over Joseph’s special gift and high favor with their father caused them to sell Joseph into slavery.
In the case of Isaac, son of Abraham, God sided with Sarah when she demanded that Isaac would be the son to receive Abraham’s inheritance. John Douglas Levenson [RF3] writes about this moment and says, “before Sarah insisted on Ishmael’s explosion-an instance that distressed Abraham greatly and called forth God’s consolation and reassurance” (57). In this moment, Abraham does not want to cast out his first son, but God tells Abraham to do it because Isaac is the favored son. Sarah, the wife of Abraham, could not have children, so Abraham had a child with the handmaid, Hagar. Sarah did not want this son to receive all the wealth, as the first born often did. Abraham needed to consult God on this issue because both sons were his. God sided with Sarah, and He chose the younger son, Isaac. God once again continues this pattern and picks one son over the other, and the son is the younger. God says to Abraham when Abraham seeks guidance in God, “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac…” (Gen. 17: 20-21). God choses Isaac to be the main person in his covenant even though he was the second son.