Isaac was (truly) blind

Genesis 27 gives us the account of the tale of two brothers – Jacob and Esau and how Jacob the supplanter, aided by his mother Rebekah, steals away not only the birthright of Esau, the firstborn son of Isaac and Rebekah, but also his blessings. This account starts out by stating that when Isaac was old and his eyes were dim, he could not see and at that time he called Esau his eldest son and told Esau “I am old and don’t know the day I would died, so make me my favorite dish of venison that you hunt and when I am satisfied after eating it, I will bless you before I die.

First this account shows that Isaac was playing favorites between his children (Genesis 25:28) and despite his physical blindness, he was turning a blind eye to the fact that Esau his firstborn who had rights as his firstborn, had despised that birthright that entitled him to a double portion of his father’s blessings. Second, Isaac, turned a blind eye to the fact that Esau had married two Hittite women and that the blessings of God if given to Esau would not stay with God’s people as was covenanted with Abraham. Third, we also notice that Isaac took matters his his own hands and did not see that the God of his ancestors, who breathed life in man formed from dust, could keep him alive as long as God intended and instead of relying on God, predicted that he was going to die. Fourth, we can see that instead of hungering for the spiritual issues of life for his children as did his father for him by making sure that he did not take a worldly ungodly wife, Isaac focuses on meager venison to satisfy his physical hunger, in his old age. Fifth and most importantly, Isaac willfully chose to go against God’s plan, and turn a blind eye to God’s word given to Rebekah, that it would be the elder (Esau) who would serve the younger (Jacob) (Genesis 25:23). So in five instances, we can clearly see that though Isaac was blind physically, he was truly blind spiritually.

Isaac did not see that the one who despises their birthright is not entitled to the father’s blessings and that God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:11).
Isaac did not see that the one who marries into the world systems (pagan wives) loses the privilege of being blessed as the one who follows God.
Isaac did not see that God is Sovereign and controls one’s lifespan.
Isaac did not see that satisfying his spiritual needs was more important that gratifying the fleshly hunger.
Isaac did not see that God’s word and plan would always come to pass and that he could not change what God intends and wills by hurrying things up.
Isaac was truly blind for he was blind spiritually.

Points to ponder:
What is noteworthy is that Isaac who was willing to be offered as a sacrifice in his younger days, who willingly waited for a godly wife from his own people, who was assured of God’s blessings, in his latter years, shows a decline in his faith. May this be a warning to each one of us, that we just don’t start well, but we end well as well and as Apostle Paul declared, may we be able to say at life’s end – I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).

Let us not turn a blind eye and :

  • despise our right as children of God that we are granted when we believe and accept Jesus (John 1:12)
  • be married to the worldly views and systems but let us focus on being the bride of Christ, submitting to him alone (James 4:4; Ephesians 5:22,23; 2 Corinthians 11:2)
  • fail to recognize the Sovereignty of God over our lives, and in his hand is the breath of all mankind (Job 12:10)
  • gratifying our fleshly lusts and physical hungers instead of satisfying the Spirit of God
  • take matters into our own hands, trying to circumvent and willfully go against God’s plan for our lives, but like Jesus did, let us willfully accept God’s will be done in our lives (Luke 22:42).

Let us not be truly blind.

Genesis 27:1-4 (KJV)
And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 6th saying from the Cross

This is the 6th post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Six: “It is finished.
The Cross verb today is “finish”.

Jesus’ word, “Tetelastai” which is to mean, “It is finished”, affirmed that the work that God has sent him to do, which was to reconcile mankind with God, was complete. There was nothing else left to be done. He finished the work so that we do not have to.

Points to ponder:
The Cross verb “finish” calls us to action – to first fix our eyes if Jesus and to stay on the course of our faith, keeping it and finishing the race, setting aside any weight that encumbers and pull us down and any sin that besets us.  Jesus finished the act of reconciling God with man and is the author and finisher of our faith. We can finish the work that God has given us to do which is to share the gospel of Christ, who saves all who believe in him, by grace, through faith in him, because Christ Jesus is a finisher. We are called to “finish” for it is only the finisher (and not the quitter) that receives the praise and the victor’s crown. Are you and I a finisher?

Prayer: Lord, let me not be a quitter, but let me be like you – being able to finally proclaim, “I have fought a good fight (as you did bearing our Cross), I have finished the course (as you boldly proclaimed – It is finished) and I have kept the faith (as you have demonstrated, how great your faithfulness is, in accepting us, an adulterous people).”  Lord Jesus, I thank you, that you who began the good work in me, would complete it, and I pray that you be with me (as you have promised) and help me be a finisher. 

John 19:30 (KJV)
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Finishing well

September 30, 2011, marks 21 years of my life as a born again believer. It was on this very day, 21 years ago, that my day of sorrows was changed into a day of joy, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And in this past 21 years, the journey with my God, Jesus Christ, has had its ups and downs. I’ve had mountain top experiences with Jesus being transfigured in my life and I’ve had the death valley experiences when I felt like I had lost the joy of my Salvation as a result of my own disobedient and rebellious lifestyle, having succumbed to the fiery darts of the evil one. And now as I reminisce of the past, looking forward to the future, I was wondering as to what I’d like to strive toward. I’d like to strive toward “finishing well.”

Recently, Sangeetha and I watched the movie, “The Book of Eli”, which was certainly a good entertainer, but what was even more impressive is the angles of faith that is portrayed in the movie. Denzel Washington (who plays the character Eli) is on a mission to take the Bible to the western shores, despite all the challenges and roadblocks he comes across, in a post apocalyptic world. Toward the end of the movie, he borrows from Apostle Paul’s final words as he prays the following prayer: “Dear Lord, thank you for giving me the strength and the conviction to complete the task you entrusted to me. Thank you for guiding me straight and true through the many obstacles in my path. And for keeping me resolute when all around seemed lost. Thank you for your protection and your many signs along the way. Thank you for any good that I may have done, I’m so sorry about the bad. …  Thank you for finally allowing me to rest. I’m so very tired, but I go now to my rest at peace. Knowing that I have done right with my time on this earth. I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith.

21 years have gone by, and I don’t know how many more are ordained, but whenever it is the Lord’s appointed time, I’d like to finish well. I’d like this to be said of me that “Mano fought the good fight, Mano finished the race, Mano kept the faith.” and should it be that I depart from this world before the Lord’s return, I’d like the words that Jesus prayed, to be true, as my epitaphI have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” (John 17:4).

Points to ponder:
Jesus prayed “I have glorified thee (God) on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Can that be said of you and me, should today be the last day ordained for our life?

John 17:4 (KJV)
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

2 Timothy 4:7 (KJV)
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: