So here is the context – Isaac is contemplating his own mortality (27:2) and wants to make sure that his house is in order in the event that he should die. So he calls his first born in, Esau, and instructs Esau to prepare his favorite meal so that he can bless him. Only thing is, Rebekah overhears the conversation, instructs Jacob (her favorite child) to impersonate Esau and thus to get his father’s blessing before Isaac can give it to Esau. Jacob does this, successfully stealing both Esau’s birthright and blessing.
When Esau finds out what Jacob has done, verse 34 says, “he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me – me too, my father!”
To really get what is happening here we need to understand what a father’s blessing meant in this culture.
A patriarch’s final blessing was important in biblical times as a practical matter of inheritance rights. In addition, some final blessings included prophetic statements that reveal God’s supernatural power at work through the men of His choosing. In the time of the patriarchs, such blessings acted as a “last will and testament” and were highly prized as a means of revealing God’s will.
But parents, and especially fathers, can learn a lot from this ancient practice when it comes to blessing our children today. It is something that we need to be very intentional about. Like Esau, our kids are desperate to receive our blessing.
In their book The Blessing, John Trent and Gary Smalley point out that the blessing as described in Scripture always included five elements:
- Meaningful and appropriate touch
- A spoken message
- Attaching high value to the one being blessed
- Picturing a special future for him or her
- An active commitment to fulfill the blessing
You can read more about what they say regarding each of these by clicking HERE. They summarize their thoughts with these words…
The kind of planned, formal blessing we have described can be wonderful and life-changing, but if you really want your child to thrive, you will not only give the blessing but also live it, seeking out ways to include meaningful touch, spoken and written words, messages of high value and a special future, and evidence of active commitment in every day you spend together, every moment.
Yes, we need to implore God to bless our kids – but He has put those of us who are parents in our kids lives to be a blessing, one that they can see and hear and touch every day. We are blessed to be a blessing!