Hebrews – Chapter Eleven XXXII

by Ed Urzi

“It was by faith that Isaac knew God would give future blessings to his two sons, Jacob and Esau” (Hebrews 11:20 TLB).

Since Isaac was convinced that he was speaking to his son Esau (who was actually Jacob in disguise), he unknowingly pronounced a great blessing upon Jacob in Genesis chapter twenty-seven…

“Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, And let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, And blessed be those who bless you!” (Genesis 27:28-29).

Isaac clearly wanted to ensure that Esau received “the best of the best” in this blessing. Not only did this blessing provide him with a family leadership position, it also bestowed a global leadership position as well: “May many nations become your servants, and may they bow down to you. May you be the master over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. All who curse you will be cursed, and all who bless you will be blessed” (AMP).

So, everything worked out well from Isaac’s perspective. He enjoyed a good meal, he extended a blessing to his favorite son, and he fulfilled his responsibility to convey the inheritance he received from his father Abraham, who received it from God. However, Isaac was about to learn that things had not worked out the way he planned…

“Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also had made savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, ‘Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that your soul may bless me.’

And his father Isaac said to him, ‘Who are you?’ So he said, ‘I am your son, your firstborn, Esau’” (Genesis 27:30-32).

Isaac must have been feeling pretty good about the way things transpired- at least until Esau showed up to receive the blessing he had unknowingly given to Jacob. Now that he had been tricked into giving that blessing to someone else, Isaac began to grasp the reality of what he had done…

“Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, ‘Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him — and indeed he shall be blessed'” (Genesis 27:33).

Isaac had an interesting response to this revelation; instead of becoming angry, we’re told that he “trembled exceedingly.” So why did Isaac become so traumatized by this news? That question will be answered next.