While we all want to be blessed, we need to know who the keeper of blessings is. It is a fact that blessings are bestowed. Whether we will receive the blessing or not depends on how we respond when it is given. If we opt to reject it, we can lose it forever. Therefore, we are warned: “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. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done” (Heb. 12:16-17).
The story of Esau and Jacob should be an eye-opener to us. Esau did not take his birthright, as the firstborn, seriously. He despised it saying, “Look, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?” (Gen. 25:32). He uttered these words when he came home one day and was very hungry. Seeing his brother Jacob cooking red stew, he asked for some but Jacob demanded that he sell his birthright in exchange. While he was very hungry, there was no indication to suggest that he was actually dying so as to force him to forgo his birthright in exchange for a meal. Rather, it appeared that it was more to satisfy his craving for food than anything else.
Many times, we treat our actions lightly never realizing that they can have serious repercussions. In Esau’s case, the consequence of his action was irreversible. After realizing that his blessing was given to his brother instead, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry saying, “Bless me—me too, my father. Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” (Gen. 27:34, 38). Indeed, regret comes after. Having released the blessings, Isaac could no longer reverse the blessing he bestowed upon Jacob. If he had the choice, he would have given it to Esau, but Isaac said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing” (Gen. 27:35). In hindsight, the fact that Jacob employed deceit in getting his blessing is immaterial. Such deceit was only employed to pass on what Esau had despised as a blessing to his brother, Jacob.
As a father, Isaac was the keeper of blessings and so are all the fathers. Just as his two sons jostled for their father’s blessings, so must we. Therefore, it is necessary for us to develop good relationships with our fathers. No wonder the Bible is replete with commands and instructions for us to honour our fathers and never to curse them. The reward for honouring our fathers is long life, while death is the penalty for those that curse their fathers. It is imperative for us, then, to earnestly seek their blessings, even if we must cry out, “Bless me dad!” Conversely, we should never despise and reject their blessings. One way of rejecting their blessings is to look down on them and despise their counsel. Imperfect as they are, they are still our fathers that need to be honoured and respected.
The role of the fathers as keepers of blessings descended from God the Father himself. After creating Adam and Eve, God blessed them saying, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). He also blessed Abraham and said, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Gen. 12:2-3). He did the same to Isaac and Jacob. God also released his blessings to the Lord Jesus Christ when, at his baptism, he said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). Now, we are partakers of all the blessings that God bestowed upon his people Israel because the apostle Paul said, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29).
Therefore, blessings flow from our Heavenly Father to our earthly fathers, and on to us, their children and members of their household. Rejecting the blessings from the fathers have far-reaching implication just as Esau learned, albeit the hard way. When King David went home to bless his family after bringing the Ark of the Lord in the City of David, he was met with criticism from Michal, his wife, effectively despising his blessing. As a result, Michal became barren and had no children (2 Sam. 6:20-23). It is crucial then that we do not reject the blessings from our fathers. As far as the fathers are concerned, it is necessary that they be worthy keepers of God’s blessings. Unless they are able to preserve these blessing, they have nothing to pass on to their children. May the children be blessed as they seek their father’s blessings! Hallelujah!