Have you ever wondered about the nature of God’s blessing? I was reading this morning from Genesis 27 and the account of Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing from Isaac. To be honest, I have always wondered how God could allow his blessing to rest upon Jacob after the deception that he and his mother used to get that blessing. Have you ever had that same question?
As I prayed and studied this morning I asked the Lord that same question. It has always seemed to me that Jacob and his mother Rebekah had consistently deceived Esau and now Isaac, so that Jacob could receive the greater portion normally reserved for the eldest son. Remember that Esau and Jacob are twins but Esau is the older of the boys and as such, the first-born son who normally assumes the father’s position in the family upon the father’s death. Earlier in their life Jacob had sort of tricked Esau out of his birthright by getting him to trade it for a bowl of soup. However, this morning I noticed a few things in the story that it’s easy to miss.
First, the Lord had already announced that the older son would serve the younger…
Genesis 25:23 (ESV)
And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”
It was God, not any of the other players in this story that had chosen Jacob above Esau. For sure there were a lot of moves made by Rebekah and Jacob, but perhaps they are actually the only ones being obedient to what God had said.
Second, notice how everyone involved is treating Isaac’s blessing like it’s magic. It’s as if they all believe the real power is in the hands of Isaac rather than God. It is not really Isaac’s blessing that the heir needs, it’s God’s blessing! Certainly Isaac as the father has the ability to give things to his sons, but how long can those blessings last?
Isaac lived another 43 years after these events, but ultimately he died and his influence and power came to an end. His ability to bless his sons stopped immediately at his death. The real giver of blessings was God, not Isaac.
What did I learn? It’s not man’s blessing that I really need but God’s. Also, I need to relax and simply trust that God’s plan is going to be done in my life because I’ve submitted my life to him completely. All of the gyrations that we as people go through to get ahead, are ultimately useless. Should we work hard and do our best? Absolutely, but even those should be directed at our heavenly father and not to mankind as only He can pour out blessings on our lives that can never be taken away and that last for eternity! My ethics concerning work, integrity, family, and all of the issues seen in this story remind me that I should seek to always keep my focus on my heavenly father and do what I do, with him in mind. The rest takes care of itself if He is my focus.
Also, mankind can’t enhance nor stop what God has planned for each of us. It may seem at times as if our whole lives are controlled by those around us, but that’s not true. Our steps are ordered by God. (Psalm 37:23) God lifts one up and brings another down. (Psalm 75:7). Even the heart of a king is influenced by the Lord. (Proverbs 21:1) Ultimately it’s our Lord who determines the blessing of our lives!
This week, I’m going to do my best to keep my heart focused on the one who truly controls my destiny!