Isaac Blessing Esau

Genesis 27:30‑40  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Gen. 27:30-40
We have now to hear of Esau and his blessing.1
“And it came to pass when Isaac had ended blessing Jacob, and when Jacob was hardly gone out from before Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came from his hunting. And he also prepared savory meat, and brought [it] in to his father, and said to his father, Let my father arise and eat of his son's venison, in order that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac his father said to him, Who [art] thou? And he said, I [am] thy son, thy firstborn, Esau. And Isaac trembled with a trembling exceedingly great, and said, Who then [is] he that hunted venison and brought [it] to me? And I have eaten of all before thou earnest, and have blessed him: also blessed he shall be. When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a cry great and exceedingly bitter, and said to his father, Bless me, me also, my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtlety and has taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is he not rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: my birthright he took away; and behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved for me a blessing? And Isaac answered and said to Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren I have given him for servants; and corn and new wine have I supplied him; and what then shall I do for thee, my son? And Esau said to his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, me also, my father. And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said to him, Behold, of the fatness of the earth shall be thy dwelling, and of the dew of heaven from above; and by thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt rove about, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck” (vers. 30-40).
It is all very touching in a natural way. One's indignation kindles at the underhand course of Jacob and Rebecca; one feels for the erring and deceived aged saint; one pities the bitter disappointment of Esau, worthless though he was, and ungodly as he had already proved. But we rejoice at the turning-point of grace in Isaac's soul when he bowed to God's thwarting his endeavor to gratify the son who had ministered to his appetite, forgetful alas! of the already declared will of Jehovah as to Jacob. When God's over-ruling broke on him, instead of reviling the wife and younger son, he bowed in self-judgment and trembled with a trembling exceedingly great, sealing in faith what his lips said unwittingly but under God, “also he shall be blessed.” He felt that, however others were to blame, the error was his own. God was but securing now what He had said before the sons were born. Faith now wrought, unhindered by the flesh which had lately darkened his eyes. And so says the Spirit in Heb. 11. It was not according to his proclivities, but against them; “by faith Isaac blessed,” not Esau and Jacob, but “Jacob and Esau [even] concerning things about to be.”
Jehovah, as the Lord God, is and must be free to act according to the good pleasure of His will, whether for the heavens or for the earth; for man to assert his is alike folly and sin. As a saint he is set apart to obey God, not merely in the Ten Words, but in every respect; as a sinner, he is Satan's slave, and only deceives himself when he boasts of liberty, freewill, and what not. Obedience is the essential duty of the creature; and no reasoning can lessen the obligation, though it may blind man already fallen. But it is a believer's shame to be deceived, as the whole habitable world is. Satan may accuse, but ought not to deceive him who has God's word and Spirit; as we have seen Isaac deceived for a while, but restored.
Still there was a blessing for Esau, and one far more suited to his nature than that which was reserved for Jacob. What did Esau care for the promises or the covenant? What relish had he for Messiah's kingdom? What reverence or readiness of subjection to Messiah Himself? The fatness of the earth was more to his taste, and the dew of heaven from above. Heaven itself was only a sentiment he gladly left for others to enjoy. He was, he flattered himself, a practical man; and the present world was to him a scene of enjoyable excitement, checkered enough to enhance its pleasures. Then what a fine thing to live by the sword when men opposed! He did not envy the poor spiritless creatures who lived, or said they did, by God's word. Such fanaticism he despised. It was true that the word declared that he, Esau, should serve his brother. This was a disagreeable sentence, which had to be proved, and he would do all he could to prevent it. Meanwhile the same sentence said, that he should some time get loose, or rove about, and break the yoke from off his neck. Well, this would be a joy indeed: let his brother have the rest. Esau was profane; and it is a growing sin in our clay, more glaring in Christendom than among the heathen. Without doubt the end of the age is at hand. The day of the Lord hastens; but the apostasy must first come, and the man of sin be revealed, the lawless one, in his own time, whom the Lord Jesus shall consume by His breath and annul by the appearing of His presence.