Esau said, "...'My father, sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.' His father Isaac asked him, "Who are you?" 'I am your son,' he answered, 'Your firstborn, Esau.' Isaac trembled violently and said, "Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him -- and indeed he will be blessed!" (Genesis 27:31-33 NIV)
With a loud and bitter cry, Esau "said to his father, 'Bless me --me too, my father!' But he said, 'Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.' " (v.34-35) Esau then declared that Jacob ('He grasps the heel' or 'he deceives') had been rightly named, for (in his way of thinking at least), he had been deceived by him twice: "...'He took my birthright, and now he's taken my blessing!' (Wait, didn't Esau sell that birthright in Genesis 25:29-34?) Then he asked, 'Haven't you reserved any blessing for me?' "(Genesis 27:36 NIV)
Isaac answered that he had already made Jacob lord over Esau, and all his relatives his servants. He had also given him the blessings of abundant grain and new wine. What was left for him to do for Esau?(v.37) Esau, however, would not be satisfied with these facts, so he "...said to his father, 'Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, too, my father!' Then Esau wept aloud." (Genesis 27:38 NIV)
I am sure that Isaac sympathized with Esau's predicament. However, there really wasn't much he could do. As we noted before, the oral blessing had legal standing in that society equal to a contract. Isaac gives Esau this attempt at a blessing:
However, this is only a poor shadow of the riches Isaac had bestowed upon Jacob. After all, it seems to be basically saying that Esau would have the desert as his home and that he would live by the sword. There is a promise of freedom from his brother's yoke, though. What this means exactly, I am not sure. I will do some research and check it out.
I cannot help but compare this incident with the blessings given to the believer versus the final condition of the ungodly. The ungodly may temporarily prosper during their lifetime, but the believer has everlasting life and a relationship with the God who created the universe. Also, just as Esau's situation was unalterable, so the unbeliever will not be able to change his or her situation (once life is over). Even if, like Esau, such a change is sought with tears and loud cries. (Hebrews 12:14-17)
It also reminds me of taking final tests. When we get to the day of a test, we always wish that we had studied more or prepared better. In the days preceding the test, though, we had little or no interest in putting in the time in order to accomplish that goal. However, on the day of the final, how we wish that we had! Well, there is a Final and a Day coming. Are you ready? Unlike academic tests, though, the ones who pass this spiritual Final do not get to their reward through their own efforts. I will explain more about that as we go on.