Bless Me Too, My Father
When our children were young, they participated in the San Diego County Bible Bowl sponsored by area churches of Christ. For a full year, the students would study and be drilled in a book of the Bible. This would culminate in an area-wide competition in Bible knowledge of that book. Trophies were given and the event created a lot of enthusiasm and motivation to study the Bible. Canyon View, where we worked and worshiped, would usually field several teams in various age categories.
In 2005, the book selected was Genesis and we would listen to Scripture with the kids in the car everywhere we went – school, practice, shopping, etc. We used a recording that was known for its dramatic reading and the narrator’s vocal interpretation would often make you see the text in a different way. Genesis 27, relating the deception of Isaac by Jacob in receiving the blessing (in the place of Esau) was one of those readings.
Esau is usually depicted in the Bible as a crude, brutish individual. The Hebrew writer goes even farther than that, “See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son” (Hebrews 12:16).
However, in Max McLean’s narration, we get a picture of Esau which really reveals the pathos and bitter disappointment he felt over Jacob’s deception. If you are viewing this article digitally, you can click on this link for McLean’s narration of the entire chapter. Esau’s pitiful outburst begins at the 4:11 timestamp, https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Gen.27.
“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? He has deceived me these two times: 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” (Genesis 27:34-38).
Esau had a right to be upset. Jacob had cheated him here and taken advantage of his brutishness earlier in the birthright trade. They both saw this as a competition. There was only one birthright and one blessing. Jacob won. Esau lost. Zero-sum. The sad thing is that this was never really a competition. In spite of all of Jacob’s plotting and scheming and Esau’s resentment, God had already decided their paths from before birth (Genesis 25:23). Their competition was a result of misguided parents choosing and grooming their favorite.
My message Sunday involves those who are not in the formal leadership. We’ve been talking about selecting Elders and Deacons and their qualifications. Many names have been submitted, but not all will be chosen. This is not a competition. There are no losers.
In fact, we are all winners when we let God have final say. Selecting leadership is a cooperation with the will and purpose of God. Remember Acts 20:28, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.”
There is also a blessing for you – whether in formal leadership or serving in another capacity. We will explore it Sunday.