“Go now to the flock and bring me two choice young goats from there, that I may prepare them as a savory dish for your father, such as he loves. Then you shall bring it to your father, that he may eat, so that he may bless you before his death.” Genesis 27:9-10 NASB
Before we leave this matter of the blessing, permit me to point out a few more lessons from Isaac’s blessing of Jacob.
Note the prerequisite- in terms of what Isaac demanded from Esau before he issues the blessing. He requested that Esau go hunting, get him a game and prepare it for him so that he will eat and then bless him (Esau).
Having people bless you is an important dimension of life. A man who is going through life without people saying to him, “God bless you” is missing out on many things in life.
The Psalms describe a picture of a wicked man who is accursed. In Psalm 129 vs. 8, the psalmist proclaimed, “While those who go by do not say, The blessing of the Lord be upon you! We bless you in the name of the Lord!”
However, earlier verses in that Psalm described the reason why such a man is not experiencing people issuing blessing on him. It says, “Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withers before it grows up, With which the mower fills not his hand, nor the binder of sheaves his bosom–” Psalm 129:6-7 AMPC
This describes the picture of many people today. Like a grass on the housetop, they are not of any benefit to anybody; neither to the mower, nor to the binder of sheaves. They are not making any efforts through their lives to provoke a blessing. This is the reason why no one is blessing them.
It does not cost too much to provoke a blessing. I remember one day when a friend of mine carried me in his tricycle, and we were going somewhere. On the way, we met an elderly man who flagged us down to take him to the neighbouring town. After they had haggled for a price of #50 (fifty naira), my friend carried him. When they reached that place and the man came down, he offered my friend that #50, which my friend was about to receive until I stopped him. I told him to let the man go, which he did. The kind of blessing the man poured on his head that day, on top of just #50. It was quite huge.
When the elderly man had left, I began lecturing my friend. I told him that once in a while he should learn how to do things like this in order to get a blessing. If he had collected #50 from the old woman, he could not have achieved anything with it. I mean, #50 cannot even buy a bottle of drink or a loaf of bread in Nigeria. However, the amount of blessing that the man poured on his head for letting him go with his #50 could speak for him in the coming days.
When Esau returned from hunting and proceeded to prepare a meal and bring to his father, Isaac reaction after he found out that it was truly Esau was remarkable. Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, “Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him— and indeed he shall be blessed.” Genesis 27:33 NKJV
He went on to say to Esau, “Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?” Genesis 27:37 NKJV
Isaac said he had made Jacob master over Esau, and have sustained him with grain and new wine. Yet, Isaac gave Jacob nothing! Just a word of mouth blessing. With that word of mouth, he made him the head above his brothers.
A blessing can put you ahead of others. A blessing can give you advantage in your pursuits in life. Hence, every wise youth must learn to provoke it from elderly figures in his/her life. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and with the tongue of an elder, you can be given traction in life.
This is also seen in New Testament teachings. Paul, while encouraging the Corinthians to give declared this;
For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God’s people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude to God. And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else. And so with deep affection they will pray for you because of the extraordinary grace God has shown you. 2 Corinthians 9:12-14 GNB
You see it. It’s easy to tell people to pray for you. But when you are a blessing and have learnt how to provoke a blessing, you don’t need to beg them to pray for you…. Rather, with deep affection, they will pray for you. May the Lord grant you understanding of this.
Finally, I always wondered why Isaac did not reverse the blessing when he found out that Jacob had deceived him. If it were me, I would have called Jacob back and then curse him or take back the blessing, and then bless Esau, the right person I wanted to bless.
But I am thinking like this because I belong to a generation that has no value for words. I belong to a generation that can make a vow on the altar to go with a woman for the rest of my life, and later will change our minds and leave her because of one reason or the other (including that she deceived us about something she did not tell us before we got married). But the men of the orient were not like that. They do not give their words and then take it back. Never!
When Joshua found out that the Gibeonites had deceived him into making a Covenant with them, did that annul the covenant? No. In fact, when Joshua enquired of the Lord, the Lord told him that even though Joshua entered that covenant without enquiring of the Lord, but he cannot go back on the oath he made in the name of the Lord. This is how the Gibeonites entered into an everlasting covenant with Israel even though they were deceptive.
I wish my generation will learn from these men…. The rate of divorce will reduce drastically. Though Isaac discovered that Jacob deceived him, yet, he could not take back the words he had issued.
Finally, please note that somehow, this incidence of the blessing began a new season in Jacob’s life. It triggered his brother’s hatred for him; it also began the direct influence of the Almighty God upon the life of Jacob. From this point, the Jacob story became an interesting one, and we will consider them in the coming days.