Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 8, 2022

“And blessed be those who bless you.”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 27:21-29.

“21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come close, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob came close to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. 24 And he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” And he said, “I am.” 25 So he said, “Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, that I may bless you.” And he brought it to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come close and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came close and kissed him; and when he smelled the smell of his garments, he blessed him and said,

“See, the smell of my son
Is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed;
28 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;
29 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 27:21-29.


Even though Isaac was deceived and did not intend to bless Jacob, but rather intended to only bless Esau, Isaac did in fact bless Jacob, and Isaac was thereby an unintended beneficiary of his own blessing upon Jacob. “… “And blessed be those who bless you.” Verse 28.

We can infer that Isaac was not thinking about himself when he said: “And blessed be those who bless you.” Verse 29. The first part of the verse indicates whom Isaac was likely thinking would be recipients of that blessing.

“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. …” Verse 29.

In our last devotion, we focused on Jacob’s statement which was also a prophecy as to the blessing that he (Jacob) would received from Isaac. Jacob said to Isaac: “… “Because the LORD your God caused it to happen to me.” Genesis 27:20. Emphasis added.

In this devotion, we likewise see that God also caused Isaac to receive a blessing through his own words even though he did not intend his words (“And blessed be those who bless you.”) to apply to himself.

So, like there was hope for Isaac, there is hope for us! God can also cause us to bless the elect and thereby receive a blessing.

We are reminded by “Total Depravity”, the first point of Reformed Doctrine’s “TULIP”, that we did not intend to seek God (or, so to speak, bless God), nevertheless God showed mercy and compassion on us like he did all of God’s elect from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob and many more.

For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” Romans 9:15-16.

Therefore, the main point of this devotion is that if we want to be blessed through “And blessed be those who bless you.”, then, through God’s grace, we should bless the elect.

But, what do we see in so many churches? We see a resistance, a hiding, and a shunning of election a/k/a predestination. Rather than a desire to preach and teach the doctrines of grace summarized by “TULIP” as more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt, we see in too many churches a preference to be socially-orientated rather than to be elect-orientated. We see a preference for community outreach social programs and seeker-sensitive sermons over sermons that edify the elect by speaking of the blessings of election.

I will give you an example of this thinking. Even in one denomination that considers itself as conservative Presbyterian, at its web site, it stated: “The strength of our faith is how we live out our Reformed beliefs in a relentlessly contextual way. Demonstrated by: .. Our call to deeply influence culture with the Gospel, not just protect theology. …”

Do we love election a/k/a predestination or do we preach and teach it as little as necessary “to protect theology”?

Is our primary goal to influence culture or to feed the sheep within our congregation?

Is the music in our worship service rich in Scripture designed to edify the elect or is it 7/11 “praise” music (seven words repeated eleven times) designed to appeal to the senses of anyone walking off the street into the church?

So to speak, do we seek to bless the blessed or do we prefer to bless the unblessed?

And, so to speak, do we curse the blessed by ostracizing or marginalizing those who desire to preach and teach the doctrines of grace summarized by “TULIP” as more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt? Do we love to speak about “hyper-Calvinists” and the “frozen chosen” to belittle them? Do we grumble or roll our eyes when we hear them so preach and teach?

“Now the LORD said to Abram,

And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3.


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