Yearn for Blessing

Genesis 27:30-40

30 After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.” 32 His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” “I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”

33 Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!” 34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!”

35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.” 36 Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”

37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”

38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud. 39 His father Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. 40 You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”

VBS

VBS (Vacation Bible School) program has attracted more individuals to get involved. Everyone enjoyed being part of VBS. Whatever reason they have for participating in VBS is not very significant. The yearning to be involved in VBS Program simulates the yearning we may suppose for God’s blessings.

Many if not all of us yearn to have God’s blessing, but not everyone would like to be blessed the way God wanted to bless us. What? Many would like to be blessed in the way they understand blessing (like material blessing). It’s kind like: “Lord, bless me with this and that. I want this and that. Please! Please! Please!”

Interestingly, when God bless us, He won’t ask for suggestions. He knew the best blessing we should get. But, that’s not easily accepted or internalized. It is by faith to trust that blessing God has prepared is far better than what we wish.

By whatever means, we have to do everything we can—appeal, cry, or crave for God’s blessing. The Lord Jesus declared in Luke 16:8-9, For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

The greatest blessing from God is eternal life. Make sure you have it.

The twins Jacob and Esau used different methods of getting their blessing. Jacob had taken advantage of the blindness of his father just to get blessing. Esau had appealed before his father and cried for mercy just to be blessed.

1. Cry

30 After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.” 32 His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” “I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”

Rebekah and her favorite son Jacob connived and deceived Isaac for him to bless Jacob. After Isaac blessed Jacob, Esau arrived few minutes later. It was like movie directed for timely appearance of characters. Do you accept that the Lord controlled Esau’s timing to come home late so that Jacob will receive his father’s blessing? And, why did God allow Jacob to deceive Isaac?

Take note: Isaac and Rebekah played favoritism. Rebekah loved Jacob.  Isaac loved Esau. Although, Isaac was grieved by Esau’s marriage, he decided to bless him. Did Isaac hesitate to bless Esau so that he required him to hunt?

When the Lord told Rebekah that the older Esau will serve the younger Jacob, Rebekah schemed to deceive her blind husband so that his blessing will be given to her favorite son Jacob. Favoritism played a major factor in the deception of Isaac, for him to give his blessing to Jacob.

To avoid anxiety and trouble in the family, we have to pray for decisions.

Favoritism in the family is not great at all even with God-chosen people.

Favoritism

Favoritism persisted in Genesis 37:3-4, 3Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. 4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

Jacob who was later named Israel experienced the effect of favoritism of his parents. Yet, when he had his own children he also played favoritism toward his youngest son. The favoritism that caused problem to Isaac and his family was very similar favoritism that brought anxiety and trouble to Jacob’s own family.

Isaac has intended to bless his son Esau but Jacob took it. So, Esau had to cry for mercy after he heard the blessing his younger brother received. Esau was very slow of accomplishing his father’s instruction. He was delayed. Isaac had already feasted on the food prepared by Rebekah that Jacob brought him. He exemplified that delayed obedience spoils or ruins opportunities for blessing.

Esau prepared and served food for his father but Isaac did not eat it. Why? Isaac was satisfied with the food Jacob brought him. It must have been sad and depressing. He worked hard but it was disregarded. Have you ever cooked and served your best delicacy but your family ignored or disregarded it?

The favoritism of Isaac and Rebekah as parents and deception among themselves shipwrecked the supposed smooth-sailing ceremony in the awarding of blessing. Who can rescue them from anxiousness, misery and bitterness?

33 Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!” 34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!”

The phrase “trembled violently” is properly interpreted as “shudder with terror.” It’s like terrified in fear and anxiousness of devastating storm. Isaac cannot imagine what’s next but he anticipated not peace and not cheerfulness after awarding his blessing to the person he did not expect to be blessed.

And, Esau cried loudly in bitterness, anguish and misery. It’s so sad that the food he served his father was ignored but the disappointment and frustration of not getting his father’s blessing made him suffered much greater agony.

Isaac’s blessing was very precious treasure because it defined his future.

Why was the pronouncement of blessing from Isaac so valuable to Jacob and Esau? It’s not like giving a “Last Will and Testament,” right?

Inheritance of Isaac’s wealth was not even mentioned in the giving of blessing. So, what made Jacob and Esau longed and craved for their father’s blessing?

Intellectually, it’s useful if we can know why Jacob and Esau yearned for their father’s blessing. But it is much better to know how the yearning over Isaac’s blessing relates to our longing, craving and yearning for God’s blessing.

Jesus said in John 13:15-17, 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Blessing is included in the teachings of Jesus. Delayed obedience can forfeit blessing. Esau missed his blessing when he was delayed in obeying his father. Isaac was a picture of Christ who blesses those who obey in His teaching.

By faith, Jacob and Esau sincerely believed that their father’s blessings will determine their future so that they come to him to be blessed.

35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.” 36 Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”

37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”

Both Jacob and Esau came to Isaac for blessing. Jacob used deception get his blessing while Esau depended upon his effort of obeying his father’s instruction. Yet, Jacob got the better blessing and Esau got the bitter blessing.

The blessing that Jacob received was a declaration of superiority over his brother. His blessing confirmed what the Lord told Rebekah that the older will serve the younger. Does it sound like a declaration of “Last Will and Testament” on how Isaac distributed his wealth without mentioning his wealth specifically?

Were there other people, servants, neighbors, friends who witnessed it?

See, both twins served food to their father. What’s the difference? Jacob brought food from the flock while Esau brought food from the wild. Jacob came first while Esau was delayed in accomplishing his task, why? Esau may have even planned to impress his father with great catch to receive greater blessing.

Why did Jacob get better blessing when he did not exert much effort while Esau did his best? To obey is far better than to impress the Lord with our effort!

Isaac represented Christ. He blesses to those who come to seek blessing.

Rebekah represented the church-the Bride of Christ, who gives instruction on how to receive the Lord’s blessing. Jacob represented the obedient believers who relied upon God’s grace. And Esau represented the person who exerts much effort to impress the Lord with obedience to God’s law to be blessed.

The Lord blessed the person who comes to Him by God’s grace. Blessing received by God’s grace is much better than blessing from obedience to the Law. Why? Human effort always falls short of God’s glorious standard.

Esau did his best. He might have even tried to find the best game ever to impress his father, yet, he was delayed. His best effort was wasted. Isaac may have been very hungry waiting for food to eat. Esau’s attitude of trying to impress his father but was delayed to serve the food is comparable to those who try to do their best to obey God’s law but still fall short of His glorious standard.

In contrast, Jacob did not try to impress his father. He served his father the food prepared by his mother, and he received blessing. His did not try to impress his father. He just wanted to be blessed by fastest means possible.

How do you get blessing from the Lord? Are you like Esau? Do you try to impress the Lord? Are you like Jacob? Do you pay attention to instructions of the church-the Bride of Christ? So, instead of exerting human effort to impress the Lord, choose (for yourselves) to seek the Lord’s blessing by God’s grace.

The One Hour Bible

Reading the Bible to know the instruction of God is itself a blessing. The Bible was prayerfully selected from many earlier manuscripts by groups of theologians and scholars. The different book put together as one Bible was not a decision of a person.  Many are puzzled when one reads it all from cover to cover.

Someone published a shorter version of the Bible. He aimed to encourage more people to read it. The shorter version is never the same as the intact Bible. The One Hour Bible contains the crucial bits of the Bible according to the choice of its publisher. It’s a selection of passages appealing to the publisher.

Compressing the Bible into one sitting reading illustrates a limited idea of God’s blessing. We want to get God’s blessing on our own condition or timeline. If God does not speak in one hour, they don’t have time to wait for Him. They want to dictate, “Lord God, this is what You should tell us, okay?!”

This worldly attitude has been observed even in the 1st century Christianity. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:1-2, 1I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.

God is very patient and did not order us to know His will in just one hour. When God called Abraham, He just told him to leave his country and his people. Abraham did not hear where God wanted him to go but by faith, he obeyed.

It’s a life-long spiritual journey to know God’s will, not one-hour sitting. God did not order reading the Bible for an hour. To read His word exhibits faith in Him.

King David testified that God’s word is very essential in the life of believers.

He wrote in Psalm 119:103-105, 103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Just as food is daily essential sustenance to physical body, a regular dose of God’s word is daily essential to spiritual body, and not just for one occasion.

Just as clear and bright light is needed to see the path we take, God’s word is the spiritual light we need to see the path that He wants us to take.

Those words that King David wrote are amazing but taken lightly and don’t easily become a reality in one’s life, why? King David was a man after God’s own heart. So, unless we have that kind of attitude toward God, we can never relate or realize the significance of God’s word as the lamp on our path.

King David was the greatest and most powerful king of Israel because he resolved to inquire of the Lord in everything he did as leader of Israel. But, when he relied upon his human instinct, what happened? It was when he committed mistakes that tarnished and polluted his admirable testimony.

It has similarity to the mistake that Esau did. Esau relied upon his great hunting instinct to catch the best to impress his father or even thought of making his father forget the grief brought by his marriage to Hittite women. And, all his efforts were useless and worthless. Isaac didn’t even taste the food he served.

All the best effort Esau had—hunt the best game, prepare it meticulously, everything he did was not appreciated. It was useless. In contrast, Jacob served what his mother gave him, and he was blessed more than he expected.

Anyways, both Esau and Jacob craved for their father’s blessings.

3. Crave

38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud. 39 His father Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. 40 You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”

Isaac declared that Jacob will lord over Esau, all his relatives his servants, and sustained with grain and new wine. Jacob will indeed be blessed, Isaac said.

Upon hearing the blessing given to Jacob, Esau did not hide his craving for similar blessing. He shouted aloud. And, he wept in great agony and bitterness. Esau may have been tired and hungry from hunting and preparing the food for his father but his tiredness and hunger was not significant at that time.

Craving for Isaac’s blessing overwhelmed him more than anything at that time.

Many young believers are discouraged when God does not give them the things they asked for. Spiritual craving for God’s blessing should not be taken lightly but in reality, the value, significance and essence of God’s blessing are not easily grasped or embraced by human intellectuality.

But as we grow more mature spiritually, we will crave more for God’s blessing.

Jesus Rescues

VBS (Vacation Bible School) theme this year (2018) is “Jesus Rescues.”

During life storms, troubles, needs, Jesus rescues us. Such spiritual truth is not readily accepted by human intellectuality. People may ask, “Why then did God allow love ones to suffer and die if Jesus rescues us from troubles? Why did He allow me to fail in my exam, to be laid off, to meet accident?”

Endless list of “why” can be readily asked but reasons can never make a one believes in Christ, why? To believe that Jesus rescues us is God’s work.

Jesus declared in John 6:29, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to be crucified. The Lord took every sin of humanity (past, present and future) to be punished with Jesus on the cross. Very simple as it seems but by faith, only believers would trust that truth.

By God’s grace through the enlightenment of Christ Spirit, believers would trust that if Christ can rescue believers from eternal damnation, He can also rescues believers from any storm of life. But, if Jesus does not rescue us from out trouble, He may have a better plan for us to testify of His work in our life.

Again, spiritual maturity helps us understand and accept that.

It says in 1 Peter 2:2, Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.

Before babies crave for milk, they have to be born first. Craving for spiritual milk exhibits spiritual birth. Have you been born spiritually? Make sure of it!

Pray: “Lord God, please give me faith to believe that Christ was crucified to pay the penalty of my sins. Lord Jesus please come into my life. Be my Lord and Savior. Fill me with You Holy Spirit, and assure me of the gift of eternal life.”

We have to drink spiritual milk just as babies need milk to grow stronger. The Word of God is spiritual milk for our daily spiritual sustenance. As we grow mature spiritually, our yearning shifts from worldly things to godly blessing.

<‘))))>< ltsii/2018 ><((((‘>

 

 

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