What Does Genesis 27:29 Mean?

May peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you; Be master of your brothers, And may your mother's sons bow down to you Cursed be those who curse you, And blessed be those who bless you."

Genesis 27:29(NASB)
Picture courtesy of Sweet Publishing

Verse Thoughts

Isaac thought he was about to die and decided it was time to put his house in order, by declaring his last will and testament. From the time of their birth, Isaac had always favoured Esau, his older son, over his twin brother, Jacob. Esau was a manly individual who had exceptional hunting skills and often prepared the most delicious dishes with the wild game he caught and killed. Yes, Isaac favoured Esau over Jacob and determined to give him his blessing.

However, rather than making it a family affair, Isaac quietly instructed his favourite son to go and catch some game, and to prepare a plate of his delicious, home-made venison, after which he would bestow on him, his blessing. However, Rebekah overheard the conversation and set about conspiring with their younger son, to deceive Isaac into giving his blessing to Jacob instead of Esau.

Esau was a man who proudly boasted of his self-reliance and independence from God through the life he lived, the choices he made, and the pagan wives he married. He had already shown utter contempt for his birthright as the firstborn son, by selling it to Jacob, in exchange for a bowl of stew - and in the book of Hebrews we read that Esau despised his birthright.

No doubt, Isaac remembered the prophecy given to Rebekah, during her difficult pregnancy... that Jacob, their younger twin son had been chosen by God to be pre-eminent in the family. It was through Jacob, and not Esau, that the promised Seed of Abraham was to be born. It was Jacob, not Esau who was to take the family reigns of responsibility from his father, but Isaac dismissed God's command and chose to bless the son of his own choice, rather than being obedient to the Lord.

And so, dressed in Esau's clothes and having disguised his appearance, Jacob lied to his father and received the most beautiful blessing that was rightfully his, "Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and an abundance of grain and new wine. May peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. You are to be master of your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, and blessed be those who bless you."

Considering that he thought he was giving his blessing to Esau, the firstborn son, instead of the child God had chosen, demonstrates the shocking decline in Isaac's spiritual walk with the Lord. Isaac thought that his secret pact with Esau was outsmarting the Lord, but the blessing he bestowed on his younger son, made Jacob, not Esau the spiritual head of the family. To Jacob and not Esau was given the blessing that would pass from generation to generation.

The blessing Isaac pronounced overflowed with fruitfulness and many blessings. It was a benediction that had its roots in the unconditional promise the Lord gave to Abraham, through whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed, and is reflected in the blessing that Jacob himself, passed on to his own sons and their offspring, many years later.

The blessing Jacob received from his father covered an abundance of food at harvest times and a plentiful supply of drink, but in reality, the blessing he gave to Jacob came from God, and confirmed the things that the Lord had promised to Abraham - first through Isaac, and then through Jacob - just as the prophecy given to his mother stated - "two nations are in your womb; two peoples will come from your body and the older shall serve the younger."

As one reads on in the story, it is evident that Isaac was shocked to realise that he had blessed the 'wrong' son - but God's plans and purposes will never be thwarted by any man, nor by any angelic beings, and Jacob was God's choice. God had chosen Jacob and was well able to bring about all that He purposed for him. In His grace the Lord used the subterfuge of Rebekah and the lies of Jacob to overturn Isaac's secretive plans and fulfil His own, perfect will. But how sad that these two people did not trust God to carry out His perfect plan, without their human interference or ungodly deception.

As we reflect on the foolish mistakes and selfish attitudes this family made in their relationship with one another, together with their disregard for God's almighty power and great wisdom - we can see that the sovereign will of God will always come to pass, irrespective of who tries to oppose Him. We can also be grateful that in His grace, He can even use our wrong actions and foolish choices to fulfil His plans.

May we be ready and willing to listen to His voice, believe His Word, and submit willingly to His will, and may we always remember that His ways are higher than our ways and be careful to say, "Thy will not mine be done."

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and grace to me and to all people. Thank You for Your amazing plan of redemption, which You brought to completion through the sacrificial offering of the lovely Lord Jesus Christ. I praise You for the Scriptures that help us to understand how You used Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the nation of Israel, to bring forth the promised Seed, Who defeated sin, Satan, death, and hell, on Calvary's Cross. I pray that You would bring to fruition all that You purposed to do through Israel, and protect them from those that seek their destruction. I also pray that You would bring to fruition all that You have purposed in my life. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

Picture courtesy of Sweet Publishing

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