Hast thou but one blessing, my father?


Genesis 27:30-38 gives the account of Esau, the firstborn son of Isaac, discovering that his younger brother Jacob had deceitfully usurped him of his blessings, in addition to his birthright, which he foolishly relinquished for a bowl of soup. As soon as Isaac had given his blessings to Jacob and Jacob had barely left Isaac’s presence, Esau returned from his hunting. He made the savory venison meal that his father had requested as a condition to give his blessings to Esau, and asked his father to arise and eat and bless him. Isaac’s realizing that he had been cheated trembled and asked the same question he had asked his other son Jacob – Who are you? Esau responds that he was his firstborn, though he was devoid of his birthright which he had sold to his brother Jacob. Technically, Esau had no rights to his father’s blessings. Isaac informs Esau of the subtlety of Jacob and that he had blessed Jacob already. When Esau heard this, he cried out with a great and exceedingly bitter cry and asked his father to bless him also. Esau also exclaimed that Jacob had lived up to his name as a supplanter who had robbed him of his birthright first and now his blessings and questioned his father “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”, “Has thou but one blessing, my father?” and he lift out of his voice and wept.

Points to ponder:
The questions posed by Esau to Isaac, his father were “Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?” and “Has thou but one blessing, my father?” It is sad to see that Esau own desires to gratify the desires of his flesh (Genesis 25:29-34) had robbed him of the spiritual blessings he was originally entitled to as the firstborn son of the father.

While this account gives us a clear picture of our natural state of affairs, there is hope and good news that can be gleaned from this account. As the children of Adam, who gratified the desires of his flesh and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree (Genesis 3), we relinquished the right we had with God the Father and our creator. The spiritual blessings that we were to enjoy, being created in God’s own image, was lost (1 Corinthians 15:22). The questions that we had to grapple with and that made all creation groan (Romans 8:22), for even the land was cursed on account of Adam’s sin (Romans 3:17-18) were “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”, “Has thou but one blessing, O God our Father?”

But praise be to God the Father, who made the provision of his Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the firstborn over all creation (Colossians 1:15), who makes it possible for us to be adopted back into God’s family, when we believe in him and when we receive him. And all whoever accepts Jesus as their Savior, Master and Lord are adopted as children of God (John 1:12, Romans 8:15) and are blessed not in one, but in all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3) – from selecting us before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless, giving us sonship and saving us by his blood and forgiving us, and sealing us by his Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:3-13).

Since all who have believed in and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s son, our Savior, have been blessed in all spiritual blessings, they do not need to ask “Has thou but one blessing, my father?”. Do you have to? Don’t leave that question unanswered, please.

Genesis 27:30-38 (KJV)
30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me.
32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.
34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.

Advertisements

Our Hearts Ye Mend


At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men

and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.

To our secondborn, your word was given
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven

To my beloved, your word came
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

From the Author’s/Poet’s Desk:
As we arrived at the beginning of a new year, thinking about the year gone past and looking forward to the year ahead, this poem is an expressions of our hearts, that in the coming year, my family (Sangeetha, Reuben, Ittai and me), focus solely on the Lord God who can mend our hearts to Love him and love all. During the watchnight service on December 31st, at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI), we picked promise cards for each one in the family. The poem is written by compiling the verses from our promise cards, as a personal reminder to us, but we pray that you personalize this for yourself by replaced the pronouns and words like “our” with “me” or “my” and any personal pronoun with your name or “I”.

The promise  cards picked for 2016.
For Reuben (our firstborn): 17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. (Jeremiah 30:17)
For Ittai (our secondborn): 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. (Isaiah 60:20)
For Sangeetha (my beloved): 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)
For Mano: 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

Promise Cards 2016

A line-by-line exegesis of the poem [in square brackets] is given below:

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men
[Matthew 22:37-39]
and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
[Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34]
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen

[Matthew 6:13;John 10:11-18]
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten
[John 10:27; John 14:15]

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
[Promise verse for Reuben – Jeremiah 30:17]
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
[Jeremiah 30:17; John 19:30]

restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
[Psalm 23:3; Hebrews 2:14-15]

and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.
[Psalm 71:15-16]

To our secondborn, your word was given
[Promise verse for Ittai – Isaiah 60:20]
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
[Isaiah 60:20; 2 Corinthians 4:6]
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
[Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; Romans 8:22]
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven
[Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22]

To my beloved, your word came
[Promise verse for Sangeetha – Isaiah 41:10]
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
[Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23]
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
[Isaiah 41:10; Luke 1:30]

for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.
[Isaiah 41:10; Hebrews 13:8]

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
[Promise verse for Mano – Isaiah 58:11]
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
[John 15:2-5 {the Church’s theme verse for 2015}]
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
[Galatians 4:9; Galatians 6:14]
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.
[Psalm 47:8; Colossians 3:15]

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Between God’s House and Ruin


Genesis 12:8-9 reads “And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the LordAnd Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.” 

What is interesting to note is that the location where Abram pitched his tent was between Bethel and Hai (or Ai). Bethel means “House of God” while “Ai” means ruin. So Abram pitches his tent in a place between what would be referred to as the house of God and a place known as ruin.

Points to ponder:
Many a times, we find ourselves in a similar situation on our life’s journey. We find ourself at the crossroads between the house of God (heaven) and a place of ruin (earth) where all creation groans as a result of sin which entered it with the sin of the first Adam. Unfortunately, instead of proceeding to dwell in the house of God, we find our allegiances and anchors in the place of ruin. Let us henceforth, be like king David, who sought to be in the house of the Lord all the days of his life … that one thing, let us seek (Psalm 27:4). Where are you now? Where does your allegiance lie? Where are you anchored?

Genesis 12:8-9 (KJV)
And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.
And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.

To till (toil) or not to till (toil)


Genesis 2:5, states that “there was not a man to till the ground” yet all the flora grew. This implies that God’s creation was designed to grow, irrespective of man’s work/action, for every herb of the field, that was given to man to eat (Genesis 3:18) grew, until man disobeyed and brought a curse on the ground and the need to till the ground and toil (sweat) for it to bear fruit/yield (Genesis 3:19).

In order to reverse this mishap, Jesus had to come and toil (work) for our Salvation (as creation itself groaned in sin and in error pinned (Romans 8:22)). He finished the work (John 19:30). The ground yielded thorns and thistles as a result of man’s disobedience (Genesis 3:18). A crown of thorns was placed on Jesus’ head as a result of his obedience (Philippians 2:8) and by being pierced, Jesus annulled the curse on mankind. Now, anyone who abides [is planted/rooted] in Jesus Christ, shall bring forth much fruit (John 15:5), by God’s doing, for he gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7), and without him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Points to ponder:
Without Jesus, we need to till and toil. In Jesus, we need not till and toil.
He said, “Come unto me, all of you, who till (labor) and are heavy laden (toil) and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Do you need to till (toil) or not to till (toil)? In other words, Are you without Christ or are you in Christ Jesus?

Genesis 2:5 (KJV)
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Matthew 11:28 (KJV)
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Are you/I free – truly free?


In the worldly sense, freedom implies that one is devoid of any subjugating force, but the Bible teaches us that true freedom indeed comes from subjugation; subjugation not in the sense of slavery, but in the sense of surrendering – total surrender. The created world is already in a state of slavery, in bondage to sin, because of the willful fall of man (Adam) by which sin and death entered the world (Romans 5:12). All of creation groans and travails in pain to be liberated and we groan to be adopted by God (Romans 8:23), no longer subject to sin (Genesis 4:7), but to the Savior Jesus Christ.

Points to ponder:
True freedom comes from being subject to Jesus Christ, who is Lord and Master (John 13:14). Are you/I subject to sin or the Savior? In other words, are you/I still under the slavery of sin or have we totally surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ, the Savior? The answer to this question would determine if you/I are truly free or not. True freedom comes by subjugation (total surrender) to Jesus Christ, for he/she whom the Son of God makes free, is free indeed (John 8:36).

Romans 8:21-23 (KJV)
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.