My parents used to tell me all the things I need to do to be a good and successful person in the world. At the time, I used to think why they would tell me things as if I don’t know what to do? Being young has its own set of challenges, and being older has it’s. So I just did not understand why my parents would ask me to do the things I thought was not the best or the right thing to do. It’s payback time now as I hear my children say the same thing to me sometimes.
As I read this chapter, I see Isaac is telling his children what to do. He is telling his son Jacob what he is to do with his life. He tells him how to find his wife and be blessed. This gesture of asking your children to do the right thing is called “blessings” for the children. Ephraim and Manasseh, Isaac’s great-grandchildren, get the blessing from their grandfather the same way later on. Asking children to obey and children obeying their parents is a sign of blessings in store in life.
In chapter one, we see God the Father asking his children, our first parents, Adam and Eve, to be fruitful and multiply. It was not a suggestion, but a command and a direction. They were given charge to grow and subdue. They were expected to obey the father, and when did not, we know how that ended up.
Every father and mother, regardless of who they are wishes and hopes for their children to listen to them because life experiences have given them a better perspective on life. Children, on the other hand, just like us when we were young, do not see the wisdom of the age. So, we see here Esau marries against the father’s wishes, and Jacob does what he was asked to do. In a way, Esau seems to have justified without any coercion, why he lost his blessings when he took women as his wives from the Hittites. It was not necessarily that he took a wife from a foreign land, but because he did not listen to his parents’ advise.
Blessings will go a long way if we listen to the wise advice of our elders. Jacob obeyed his parents and was blessed by it. Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen, and was blessed by that encounter. Joshua blessed Caleb with a large inheritance because Caleb wholeheartedly followed the Lord and his commandments. Naomi blessed Ruth with God’s kindness and love, security, and safety. Boaz acted as God’s hand in making this blessing come true. Ruth returns the blessings to Boaz. Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife Hannah, and that blessing is fulfilled in Samuel.
The whole idea of blessing someone has a domino effect. You kick off a blessing, and it keeps going forever. You start with a small blessing to someone else, and it snowballs into a bigger one for you and generations after you. This is the whole story of Jacob. If you follow his trail, you will see blessings after blessings following Jacob, because he listened to his father Isaac first. While Jacob’s beginnings do not reflect his good ending, it shows God can reverse the course on people and bless them abundantly.