Genesis 27:1-4 “When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, ‘My son.’ ‘Here I am,’ he answered. Isaac said, ‘I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. Now then, get your weapons – your quiver and bow – and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.” (and so on to verse 45).
How disappointing was Isaac in old age. You expect elderly believers to show the fruits of a long life with God; you look for wisdom and graciousness of course, but also a certain youthfulness, an interest in everything going on, and a growing anticipation of being with God. You do see these graces in Christians, but there are those whose lives in old age seem to deny the truth of effectual, progressive sanctification. I believe that doctrine, and so it is a serious matter when there is no corresponding reality of maturation in those who have professed to know the Lord for many years. You claim to have been indwelt by the Spirit of Christ for many years, so where is the fruit? Where was it in Isaac?
1. ISAAC IN OLD AGE WAS CARNAL AND DEFIANT.
i] Isaac acted as if were soon to leave this world. We are told that he was “old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see” (v.1), yet it is hard to be certain how old he was. I had always thought that this incident occurred shortly after the marriages of Esau, and that would mean Isaac was just passed his 80th birthday, but I can see that that is unlikely. One commentator says you can compare various Scriptures and conclude that Isaac was actually about 147 years of age at this time. Maybe that was it, but still he was to live thirty more years after this event, until he was 180 years of age.
One of Isaac’s great weaknesses was that his passion for eating, and his favourite food was wild game. The patriarch told his favourite son Esau that he was willing to give his blessing to him at that moment just as long as Esau brought him another pot of venison broth. Think of it, linking the patriarchal blessing to having his favourite food brought to him. How unimportant that blessing was in his eyes. Isaac pleaded with Esau to get his bow and arrow, his knife and ropes – all his hunting gear – and go and shoot a deer and prepare a meal for him. Isaac acted like a dying man, and spoke like one, but in fact Isaac possessed a very healthy appetite.
ii] Isaac coveted high class meals. This ‘doddering old man’ routine with one foot in the grave was a ploy. He might have had a slight bout of ill health, as we all do, and was feeling sorry for himself but he put on the agony and he made this rash promise in order to get his favourite meal, not beef or lamb from his herds, but the meat that came from the wild. He could not keep his physical appetite under control, and so it controlled him even in old age. Isaac behaved like a connoisseur, pleading, “Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die” (v.4). He was nowhere near death; all of us are as near death as Isaac was at this moment. He had lost sight of the Holy One who says that in his presence is fulness of joy and at his right hand are pleasures for evermore, who has described the marriage feast of the Lamb to every Christian. That is what lies before us, but for Isaac a bowl of soup now was worth any feast in glory. Are we being bought just as easily by the offer of luxuries today, things we really covet for ourselves, so that our minds are being deflected from serving and pleasing God? Esau had thought so lightly of his birthright; he had sold it for a dish of lentil stew – and now it is ‘like father like son.’ In spite of Esau discarding his birthright so cheaply and marrying two pagan women Isaac was still eager to throw away his patriarchal blessing on this unworthy son.
iii] Isaac was devious in bestowing the blessing. The whole family, of course, were just like this, Rebekah was a cunning woman and Jacob was a deceiver. They had all been influenced by Isaac. We learn that at this time in redemptive history, when a father felt he did not have much longer to live, then he would gather around him all his children to given them his patriarchal parting blessing – on each one of them, with a special blessing going to the firstborn. The blessing would have a prophetic note about it, concerning the future direction and the achievements of each of their lives. Remember how Jacob was to bless his many children. Now Isaac had come to the conclusion that his entire blessing should come upon Esau, and that none at all should come on Jacob. So, slyly, he calls just for Esau to come into his presence and mentions to him that now was the time he had decided he was going to give his blessing to Esau. Of course it backfires badly. What he is doing is to set up his own downfall as well as Esau’s downfall later on. If both the twins, Esau and Jacob, had been standing before him then he couldn’t have given all the blessing to Esau. But when just one son alone was coming into his presence then that enabled Jacob, in just an hour or so, to pull off his stunt and steal the blessing designed to be all for Esau. He was able to dress up like Esau and get all the blessing for himself. If Esau had been standing next to him it would have been impossible. Isaac was hoisted with his own petard.
iv] Isaac was defying God, because th
e Lord had said at the birth of these twins, “The older will serve the younger,” and it did not matter if Esau were his favourite, “The older will serve the younger,” and it mattered not that Rebekah was rooting for her favourite Jacob, it would not be by craftiness nor by a mother’s charms that Jacob would get the blessing but because God had purposed it to be such. How foolish of Isaac to think he can thwart the plan of God. How sinful of him to want to. Can you see the warnings here in the behaviour of this man, the only child of Abraham and Sarah, the one through whom the Messiah is going to come, that if even Isaac could act in this foolish way then you who think you stand should take heed lest you fall. How often we are frustrated when providence cuts across our plans and we cannot gain what we desire. How often we treat God with suspicion when we don’t seem to be getting what we think is our due. How foolish of us to challenge God’s purpose for our lives. Don’t we always exchange one set of difficulties in life for another set? That is how it must be in a groaning world. Isn’t it true that there is no Christian life in which we won’t be tested and disappointed? Isn’t it through much tribulation that we have to enter the everlasting Kingdom?
i] Rebekah was devious in her thinking. Nothing much happened in the big tent without Rebekah noticing. We are told that she was listening to all that Isaac said to Esau (v.5) and as soon as Esau had picked up his bow and arrows and spears and knives and left for the mountains she made a bee-line for her son Jacob. She felt an injustice was being done and Esau was unworthy to receive the entire blessing from her husband. If he wanted to act unjustly . . . well . . . she would act unjustly too. She would get all the blessing for Jacob. When some people in a congregation think an injustice is being done, that ‘that preacher is getting away with everything,’ then it will stir them up to act with far greater injustice. Few things upset a congregation more than injustice. Rebekah told Jacob everything that had occurred and immediately she devised a ‘cunning plan’ to wrest the blessing from Esau and gain it for Jacob. What sort of love did Rebekah have for her son? What sort of infatuation was it to encourage her son to deceive his own father in this way? It was not a holy love. Love endures all things. Love thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in inquity. Love never lies. Rebekah failed to cry out to God in prayer as she once had done forty or more years ago when the two baby boys wrestled together in her womb. She did not still Jacob’s heart with the promise that God had made, “‘Theolder shall serve the younger.’ Be sure of this Jacob. God has said it.” She does not cast all her hope on this plain promise of God being fulfilled. “He has said this and it must come to pass.” No. She seeks by trickery to fulfil that which God had spoken – she would help God along, just like her mother-in-law Sarah once tried to help God along in his plan to make Abraham a father by giving her servant maid to Abraham to impregnate. Rebekah would make God’s plan work for the priority of Jacob – not because it was God’s desire, but because the divine decision happened to coincide with her zeal for her beloved son Jacob. She could not trust God to accomplish this; she would do it her way.
Think of the pressure brought to bear on Jacob. He wants this blessing more than anything else in the world. He has his mother scheming and telling what he must do. Little wonder he did not stand up to her, and gently rebuke her, and tell her to trust in the Lord. “Mother, God always keep his promises. He doesn’t need any help from us, especially this scheme you’ve suggested.” No. Jacob does not say this. He is the father of the nation of Israel. You would think he would do something to make his descendants proud of him, that they would tell their children when they were under red hot temptation that they should behave and trust in God like their father Jacob did, but he did not. The only little voice that was heard in the tent on that occasion was his saying, “But I am smooth skinned and though we are the same build my father will feel my arms and know that I am not my hairy brother! Then I’ll get cursed and not blessed.” Rebekah tersely dismisses his objection. She had thought of that too. “Let me be cursed if we don’t pull this off together,” she says. She slips into blasphemy as easily as her son will later on. So she was devious in her thoughts and words.
ii] Rebekah was devious in her actions. Now notice how urgent she becomes, in dealing with Jacob. “Go out to the flock,” she tells him twice. “Do what I say.” There is such intensity in her voice. Sin is like that. “Don’t wait for marriage,” it says. “Here is the opportunity . . . act now;” that is the voice of sin, it is always in a hurry. It always spots the short cuts. See how busy she became. Rebekah really got cracking. Do you remember the last time we are told that she was as busy as this? It was way back in her childhood home, when a caravan of camels arrived bearing the servants of Abraham and she was immediately offering drink to them and watering the camels. She was then an answer to the prayers of the chief servant of Abraham. He had prayed that a woman would approach him and offer help to him, his men and beasts. Here was this attractive young girl, quickly letting down her pitcher, and emptying the rest of it into the trough for the camels and running to get more. She was a perfect whirlwind of activity and as you read it and you think, “This is God’s answer to the prayers of Abraham and the servant. What a perfect bride for Isaac.” You would never imagine that someone who started so well should end so badly, devious and cunning. She is still busy Rebecca; she could not sit still for a moment. She is in our parlance an old age pensioner, but she was fixing up the broth (sin can be very creative and clever; she could make goat meat taste like wild game) and Rebekah was getting Esau’s smelly hunting clothes from under the noses of his wives in order to cover Jacob. She was cutting some cured skins of young goats from her materials’ box of oddments so that attached to Jacob’s arms and hands and neck they could feel appropriately hairy.
A devious Rebecca is in every woman’s heart here, and a devious Jacob is in every man’s heart. We can oppose the plan of God for our own lives. We know what it is. God has made his will perfectly plain to us. We have made our marriage vows. There are solemn promises we have made, documents we have signed. We have prayed over a matter, discussed it as a family and gone ahead. Then problems have occurred; of course, there are always problems in the Christian life; we will always be exchanging one set for another. I plead with you not to rely on your wits and hunches and feelings and strength to accomplish what God has said he intends to do. We want the church to know spiritual growth; we want our family to grow in love and usefulness; we want our business to prosper. The way to go about this is to honour God, fear him and keep his commandments and plead for his blessing to come upon every enterprise. Do not cut corners; do not kill yourself in the six days of your labour, rising up early and staying up late. Trust in
God; rely on his provision and his enabling and his guidance.
3. JACOB WAS DEVIOUS AND HE DECEIVED HIS OWN FATHER ISAAC.
What a family! Moses is writing this for the people to read who were struggling and fighting their way into the Promised Land and saying to one another as they muttered and rebelled, “We don’t have leaders today like our fathers had! Think of Isaac and think of Jacob!” God through Moses was telling them not to put their trust in dead patriarchs but in the living Lord!
So Jacob dressed in his brother’s clothes, with goat’s skins tied to the back of his hands and neck, and went to his father and lied to him, telling Isaac that he was “Esau your first-born.” Isaac may be blind, but he “aint stoopid”. Isaac has lived in this family a long time – remember he’s been married for almost a hundred years to Rebekah. He has had long experience of the lies and the tricks two rival brothers can play in order to have their own way. How was it that Esau got back from huntin’ ‘n’ shootin’ so fast? How could he have skinned and gutted and bled and cooked the animal in such a brief time? (v.20) So Jacob blasphemes! “Ah, Dad, he says, “The Lord your God gave me success” (v.20). There was this plump tender doe . . . and it was just waiting for a hunter to come along and shoot her with his bow and arrow. Jacob invoked the name of the God of heaven and earth, the God of Abraham and Isaac, the God who had made a covenant with Abraham and confirmed it with Isaac, the God who had made such promises and offered such glorious blessings; it was this God, I say, whom Jacob invoked in this mean trick to deceive his father. But I wonder had his father heard that casual appeal to the name of God on earlier occasions in his family? Had he heard it often? It didn’t seem to make much impression on Isaac did it? I wonder if the people of Jerusalem were impressed when Jezebel solemnly proclaimed a religious fast as part of her plot to murder Naboth? Isaac was still uncertain and he responded, “Come near. Let me touch you to know whether you are my son Esau.” He hears the voice that sounds like Jacob – there was nothing wrong with his hearing – but when he runs his fingers over Jacob’s hands he feel the hairiness and it seems to be Esau’s hairy hands. Isaac asks Jacob again a plain direct question, and Jacob tells a bare lie. One lie follows another. One lie needs to follow another to cover it up, and so on, more lies and more cover ups.
Do you know what eventually happened? Isaac fell for it! His love for Esau made him believe that the story he had been told was true, that the plump deer was waiting there for his boy to shoot it and make a delicious meal for him. Love believes all things. Poor isolated Isaac in a family that had turned into a group of warring individuals. He cannot depend on his wife, and he cannot depend on his son. He depends on his own limited judgment and what the feel of his fingers tell his brain. There is no one he has to depend on. I was with a businessman this week who has been stabbed in the back so many times during his business career, and these days he is so glad to talk to an old friend whom he’d met in the Christian Union at the University here thirty years ago, who has been affectionate to him all this time, and to talk to me, whom he met at that same period. We are the people he trusts implicitly, whom he can open up his life to, people who pray with him and tell him the truth, who love him. Faithful are even the wounds made by such a friend, but Isaac didn’t have a friend! He loved Esau’s hairy manliness, but you want more than that as you are growing old and partially blind. In the end it is a primitive cheap deception that tricks him. He is blind not just physically but spiritually, blind to what is good and right and much to be desired.
“Come here and kiss me,” he says, and here is another betrayal with a kiss. As he puts his arms around him he smells Esau’s garments and with the touch and kiss and smell he gains assurance – from those feelings. Such feelings are the easiest things for the devil to counterfeit. All Isaac’s uncertainty went and the words of blessing began to pour forth. So it was Jacob disguised as Esau who received the patriarchal blessing. Provoked to give it by his desire for his favourite food, relying on the words of a liar, confirmed by purely sensuous criteria, Isaac went ahead and blessed his second born son imagining he was blessing his first born. He walked by sight and not by faith, and as that light that was in him was darkness then how great was the darkness. So Isaac blessed the one he thought was Esau, though God had totally ruled that out. Isaac felt that by clever little sophistries he could bestow his blessing on Esau and the word that God had given long ago would not be fulfilled. Anyone who knows his own heart won’t find it difficult to understand how Jacob could lie to his father in this way.
So the patriarchal blessing was pronounced; Isaac began, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed. May God give you of heaven’s dew . . .” (vv. 27&28). He said those words to him because he’d scented a certain fragrance, and it reminded him of this earth from which he had been taken, as we all are, and to which he would one day soon be returning, so may heavenly and eternal blessings rest on his son. May God give you much “of earth’s richness – an abundance of grain and new wine” (v.28). But what were those blessings? They were mere outward expressions of God’s blessing to Isaac, and yet Isaac, who used to go out into the fields to meditate on the greatness of the Creator, is now counting them as of first importance and he mentions them first in his blessing. Isaac is giving away the Promised Land, but he can see its greatness only in terms of real estate, mountains and valleys and fertile plains.
Isaac’s blessing goes on: “May nations serve you, and peoples bow down to you” (v.29). This was what the Lord covenanted with Abraham, his descendants triumphing over their enemies, and now Isaac thinks he is giving this to Esau. He goes on, “Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you” (v.29). Isaac says those words in direct defiance of God who has said that the older shall serve the younger. Esau is going to serve Jacob, and this is now exactly what will happen as Isaac is speaking to Jacob. He concludes, “May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed” (v.29). God had said those words to Abraham and his seed and now it came to Jacob, but no thanks to Isaac. He had tried to give away to someone whom God hated the whole Abrahamic blessing, the land, the power and the glory, but God intended it to come to Jacob, but what a way it came to him! God used man’s deceit and lying and blasphemy and family division to accomplish his own purposes. They meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. The rulers gathered together against God’s choice, but they did whatever God had purposed beforehand. How great is our God and his ways past finding out.
4. ISAAC, ESAU, REBEKAH AN
D JACOB WERE ALL CHASTENED BY THE LORD.
i] Isaac. The old man doesn’t escape his punishment because of his blindness and frailty. Esau, because of his strength and outdoorsman skills is not kept from this horrible humbling. Rebekah because she is a woman does not escape God’s punishment. Jacob the liar and deceiver does not escape it. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. So, just after Jacob leaves Isaac taking the patriarchal blessing then, into the old man’s presence, comes Esau with the meal he has prepared for him just as he was asked. “My father sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing” (v.31). The father sat up! “Who are you?” he asked. “‘I am your son’, he answered, ‘your firstborn, Esau’” (v.31). “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!’” (v.33). See Isaac in his violent convulsions. He has been tricked, deceived by his own son and his wife. What a fool he has been! He is guilty of self-deception! Where was his praying, and his seeking God’s will? What was this scheming, talking to one son only, bribing him to make him some special food by offering him God’s glorious sovereign blessing? What a fool he had been! You know this old theme that runs through the book of Proverbs, “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll on him” (Provs. 26:27). Again, “he who leads the upright along an evil path will fall into his own trap” (Provs. 28:10). Again, “He whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall” (Provs. 28:18). What God says so plainly he will do. Be sure your sin will find you out. It all happened that day. The lust for special food; the decision to constrain his son to make it for him by offering him heaven’s blessing; the plan horribly backfiring so that he has broken the heart of his favourite boy while the son that his wife loved received what he wanted to give to Esau alone! Isaac trembled violently because he could not take back the blessing. His are the plans that have been thwarted, not God’s. God has been the puppet master pulling all the strings that day, making the sin of men and women serve his own ends. Did Isaac begin to see this? Is there some hope for him in his words, “and indeed Jacob will be blessed” (v.33). Was he finally humbling himself before his God, the one he once walked closely with?
ii] Esau. We are told that “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!’” (v.34). He had lived his life his way. He had taken not one wife but two. What carnality! He had taken them from the worshippers of the gods of the Hittites, and he was the first born son of Isaac and the first-born grandson of Abraham, the inheritor of the covenant of grace, that he should have been so contemptuous of the living God. What a humbling – the blessing taken away from him. He “burst out with a loud and bitter cry” (v.34). Did his mother hear it, and his brother, and his two Hittite wives, did they all hear it and the servants too? I wonder was there anyone who did not hear the lamentation of Esau? They had never heard him shout in grief like that before, and all who heard it walked along on tip toe and got on with their work. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. He will not be mocked. What men sow that will they also reap.
There they are, the father and son, the father trembling and the son crying, begging his father to be blessed also. It is a fearful scene and one feels a pity for them both. They both blame their brother. There is the old man Isaac and in any normal circumstances he would have brought both his sons together. He would have blessed the firstborn the most, of course, but he would have reserved some blessing for the other. That would have been just and right. How many families have been torn apart as the will of the father has been read and he has cut one side or one branch of the family or a child completely out of his will! How harsh! There seems a natural law which reserves something even for the prodigal, some token, some acknowledgement of paternity, but Isaac had not done so. He had planned to give the lot to Esau his favourite, but in his folly he had only succeeded in giving the lot to Jacob. For Esau there is nothing left. Issac looks at Esau and says so plaintively to him, “I have made Jacob 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?” (v.37). What he had cruelly intended for Jacob now becomes Esau’s unchangeable destiny.
We are told that Esau was a bitter man (v.34). He protests, “Jacob hasn’t been content to take away my birthright, he has taken away my blessing too,” but wait, Esau gave away his birthright. He despised that whole ‘birthright’ business. There is no hint in the life of Esau that there was any spirituality at all in his thinking or actions. He just took the birthright and blessing for granted as some things that are there, that they would always be there, some kind of heavenly annuity or insurance policy that would one day automatically ripen and be his . . . when he become religious, for which he had to do nothing at all. That is how people consider heaven. You live as you please and you think one day you will go to heaven but you never spend a moment’s thought about heaven and eternity and meeting the God of heaven from one year to another. However, if someone says something or does something that might take that neglected heaven from you then you get angry. Heaven is yours, your entitlement, and so back off! When a preacher tells you that you may lose heaven, and go to hell then you won’t go back to listen to him again. When he tells you what you must do to inherit eternal life, if his words are not how you think you get eternal life then you say, “Back off.” You will not listen to him again. What a shocking day for Esau, the day he discovered that he’d forfeited God’s blessing
“Bless me – me too, my father! . . . Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!’ Then Esau wept aloud” (vv. 34&38). There is no blessing left. It is all gone. It is a focused blessing, a limited blessing, a particular blessing and it has been exhausted on Jacob. So what is there for Esau? Isaac will speak, but he does not give some bland, meaningless, religious sentence to Esau. The word of God contains no bland, religious sentences. Isaac ‘spoke’ to Esau; it does not say that he blessed Esau; “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. 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.” (vv. 39&40). Esau will be away from the fatness of the earth – all that will be Jacob’s – and away from the dew of heaven – he will be more familiar with the dry places of the Middle East. He will be away from years of peace, for Esau will live by the sword, and so
most bitterly of all he is told that he is going to serve his brother Jacob, the rogue who just cheated him out of his blessing – serve him! The one hint of something different is the last phrase, that when he becomes restless he will throw Jacob’s yoke from off his neck. That is it. That is his destiny, inescapably. That is going to be his life henceforth. We often say how glad we are that we do not know the plans God has for the rest of our lives in this world. Maybe the worst part of this blessing was Esau knowing his future, and nothing he could do could change his lot. There were just these vague words in which he saw some hope, “ . . . when you grow restless you will throw Jacob’s yoke from off his neck” (v.40). There was nothing that Esau longed for more than throw off Jacob’s yoke. How? When? Where?
What was he to do? What are you to do who fear that you have forfeited God’s blessing? Surely Esau was to throw himself at Jacob’s feet and plead for mercy. Surely if he believed God, and that his father was merely the channel through which God’s blessing came, then he should take Jacob’s destiny and his own destiny very seriously. Why get angry with God? Who are you to lay down terms for serving God? You cannot tell God how and when you want blessings from him. You have forfeited every right to God’s blessing by the sin of your father Adam and by your own sin. You can stand before the ancient of days in your sin and describe to him the eternity you want and how you intend to receive it. No way. Cry mightily to him! Remember when Jonah was sent to Nineveh to tell the people of that great city that within the next days they were going to be overthrown? What was their response? They didn’t say, “We are never going to listen to that man again. Who does he think he is, a foreigner coming here and telling us what our future is going to be? One of woe? Cut his head off! Crucify him!” No they did not say that. They took the words of judgment with the utmost seriousness. They turned from their sins. They covered themselves with sackcloth and ashes. The king did so. The ruling party in the government did so. “Who knows?” they said, “who knows what God might do if we turn from our sins and cast ourselves in repentance on him?”
So it should have been with Esau. He had much to be repentant over. Let him kneel and confess his sins to Jehovah. Let him confess his sins to his father. Let him ask his brother for mercy. Might his brother not give him a part of his blessing? But he does none of those things. He plots instant revenge. “Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, ‘The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob’” (v.41). Esau shows that he is a hater of God, a wicked and violent man. He wanted the blessing though he did not understand what it was, like people want heaven who have never taken the trouble to find out what heaven is. So like Cain, he hated his brother because God loved his brother, and he immediately begins to fulfil the terms of the blessing his father has pronounced on him, “You will live by the sword,” and he plans to murder him.
iii] Rebekah. She was also punished. She has only two children and one is the cheat and the other is the hater who’s been cheated. She sees the possibility of having a murdered son and the murderer being her other son. She had big ears; nothing that was said in her family escaped her. Now what terror and horror fill her! What a judgment came upon her for what she had done in seeking to wrest the blessing of God from Esau and for showing favouritism to Jacob. Now she must send her favourite away, and she will never see him in this world again. Will Esau ever look at her again with a son’s love lighting up his face and eyes? No. What a judgment comes upon Rebekah for her trickery.
iv] Jacob. And Jacob is also punished by being sent from the Promised Land. He will not see his mother again.
How blessed we are that the Son of God did not have to deceive his Father to gain eternal blessing and glory from him. He presented himself to God without spot. He sacrificed his own way, not designing the contents of his own cup. He drank what the Father gave him – our damnation. He humbled himself to that death. He said, “Father, not my will but Thine be done.” How God blessed him, giving him a name above every name, giving him rank above every rank, seating him at his right hand in glory determining that every knee would bow to him. Through blessing him he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. They are not ours except as we are in Christ. Through him they are ours. What he deserved we obtain. What we deserve he got on Golgotha. What a Saviour we have in Jesus Christ, and he was the son of Isaac and Jacob, joined by the umbilical cord to them, and so he can understand and identify himself with sinners though himself utterly free from sin. Like them, made in the likeness of sinful flesh, but holy, harmless, undefiled – not a deceiver, not a deceiver at all. All he has said and all he has promised is true. “I am the truth,” he says. So entrust yourself to him.
To conclude; to every Christian here God has given a birthright, because Christians are the fellowship of the first-born, and the divine blessing is his plan for your life. There will be closed doors, and there will be open doors set before you. There will a place and a time for you and for those you love. You could never obtain them by clever schemes. Do not force Providence. Be diligent and do what you must do with all your might to please God. That is your responsibility. God will take care of the blessings of his providence – that is his duty.
September 5 2010 GEOFF THOMAS