Summary: #2 in a six week series on marriage and parenting. This message begins the parenting portion of the series by discussing the concept of giving a Biblical blessing to your child.
THE FOUNDATION: BLESSING YOUR CHILD
Home Improvement - Week 2
Like so many things in life, balance is needed in parenting. We balance physical activity and intellectual pursuits. We balance giving our children what they want and what they need. But probably the greatest tightrope for a parent to walk is the one between encouragement and discipline. So for the next two weeks we want to look at these two primary, parental pursuits. First, the positive side: encouragement. To understand this part we have to look no further than the O.T. in the Bible. There we find an actual legal bestowal of prestige, authority and even wealth, on the child called a “blessing.” Sometimes this “blessing” carried with it a prophetic message about the child’s future that God would honor.
The clearest illustration of this was the blessing that a father by the name of Isaac was to give to his first born son, Esau. Now, in the Jewish blessing the oldest son would get 2/3 of the estate and would be the replacement of the father as the authority in the family. This is what Esau would receive as the first born. But he only was first by seconds. He was a twin. Jacob, his twin brother was born only moments behind him. But since Esau delivered first he was entitled to this special blessing as the first born. So, Issac, who at this time is old & nearly blind, tells Esau to go out, kill some game and bring it back to him. They would then eat together and Isaac would bestow the blessing. But while Esau was gone hunting, his younger brother, Jacob impersonated him. Even though Jacob & Esau were twins they were nothing alike. Esau was a rugged outdoorsman & Jacob was somewhat of a domestic, "mamas boy". The boy’s mother actually favored Jacob over Esau. So, following his mother’s deceitful plot, we find Jacob dressed in Esau’s clothes to smell like him, with goat skin on his arms because Esau was hairy and he brings his father’s favorite wild game dish to eat which his mother had cooked. We pick up the incident where Jacob goes into the tent of his blind and aging father to receive the blessing that was intended for his older brother, Esau.
Vs:18- “He went to his father and said, “My father!” “Yes?” he said. “Which son are you?” Jacob lies. “Jacob answered his father, “I’m your firstborn son Esau. I did what you told me. Come now; sit up and eat of my game so you can give me your personal blessing.” Isaac was suspicious and asked, “So soon? How did you get it so quickly?" Jacob, showing no shame uses God as part of the lie, “Because your God cleared the way for me.” Now, look at your printed text. “Isaac said, “Come close, son; let me touch you - are you really my son Esau?” So, Jacob, in his disguise, obeys his father, and pay close attention to vs:22. “So Jacob moved close to his father Isaac. Isaac felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice but the hands are the hands of Esau.” Notice that it was important for Isaac to touch him... Vs:23 says, "He (Isaac) did not recognize him, (Jacob) because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s.." Finally, after eating the meal he thought Esau had prepared and smelling him once again, vs:27 tells us he blessed Jacob. Now, after that blessing, Jacob barely leaves his father’s tent when Esau returns from the hunt. Look what happens. Vs:31- (Esau) He also had prepared a hearty meal. He came to his father and said, “Let my father get up and eat of his son’s game, that he may give me his personal blessing.” Now Isaac is confused and asks Esau who he is. When Esau tells his father, Isaac realizes he’s been deceived. Notice vs:33- "Isaac started to tremble, shaking violently. He said, “Then who hunted game and brought it to me? I finished the meal just now, before you walked in. And I blessed him - he’s blessed for good!” 34 Esau, hearing his father’s words, sobbed violently and most bitterly, and cried to his father, “My father! Can’t you also bless me?” Isaac cannot undo what he had done and Jacob gets the first born blessing. And from that time on the Bible tells us, Esau wanted to kill his brother Jacob. No wonder.
Now, although that is one of the clearest incidents of the blessing, as we’ll see it is not the only mention of it in the Bible. But I want to use that story to serve as the basis of our discussion today on "blessing your child." Christian authors Gary Smalley and John Trent have written a best selling book entitled, The Blessing. The front cover... "No matter what our age, our parents’ approval affects the way we view ourselves and how we act with those we love most. Now we can all learn to find and give the unconditional acceptance the Bible calls, The Blessing." I strongly recommend that you read this book, purchase it if possible. (I’ve listed a couple of places you can purchase it.) I will tell you that it revolutionized my parenting. You see the world emphasizes the need for establishing self-esteem in the child. But... the Bible talks about establishing a blessing for your child which is deeper and more significant.