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Bless Me, Even Me Also

There are passages that move us to tears. That tug at the heartstrings. David and Absalom. Hosea and Gomer. Peter’s denial. But perhaps, one of the most endearing heartfelt expressions found in all of the Holy Writ is uttered by Esau:

“Bless me, even me also, O my father!”

Genesis 27.34

Why this reaction? At first glance, one might feel mystified why Esau was so angry at not receiving his father’s blessing. You’ll recall the events leading up to this moment. The cunning hunter and man of the field supplies us with one of the most tragic biographies in all of the Bible. Esau the profane (Heb 12.16). A man of the earth who lived for worldly things and nothing else. He was the man who bartered his birthright. Spontaneity brought on by his present circumstances. Scripture says he despised it. He literally had no use for it.

Esau was entitled by law and custom to receive twice as much as a younger son’s portion; to be regarded in due time as the head of the family. And although we may not fully comprehend how much receiving the blessing actually was to those in the patriarchal age, there are a myriad of passage throughout Scripture describing blessings offered and received (Ephesians 1.3-5; Galatians 3.9; Psalm 84.4).

There are no heroes in Genesis 27. Filled with regret that he had forfeited that blessing, Esau sought that the clock be turned back. But he learned that there comes a point of no return in every man’s life when regret cannot bring a reversal of past decisions. And so, after the dust had settled, we are left with a picture of a broken man.

Bless me. Even me also.

And his irrational actions. Do they dampen the impact of his plea? How bitter are his tears! Wails of anguish. Of pain. Of sobering loss. An awkward, uncomfortable sound. Even with his tears, mercy was not to be found.

There is nothing more painful than a lost blessing. There is ruin. Tragedy. Today many are hurting. Hurting from unanswered prayers. Wounded. From rejection. Reflecting back on missed opportunities. And simply the mess of it all. Life circumstances that rock us to the core. We may not articulate it well. Many times we often forget. And then there are moments where the rawness of it all becomes apparent.

And if one asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your back?’ he will say, ‘The wounds I received in the house of my friends.’

Zechariah 13.6

They are les misérables. The Miserables. Wanting and desiring acceptance. Forgiveness. Seeking mercy. Grace. And a blessing. And thus the tears flow. They are tears of release. Of expectations. Of loss. Tears of hope. It almost overpowers us when strong men weep. And why did Esau weep? Because, he wanted a blessing. And don't we all want a blessing? Esau speaks the language of millions: "Hast thou but one blessing, my father?" (Genesis 27.38).

There is the power of a parent’s blessing. And there’s the impact and need for The Father’s blessing. The center of His blessing is the presence of God Himself. It’s a blessing which invokes His provision and His protection. Don’t we all want that? Don’t we need that? I know I do.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

Numbers 6.24-26

How easily do some even today part with the rich blessings they are heirs to. It’s the story of the prodigal (Luke 15.11-32). He sees him while he was still a long way off. And yet the father doesn’t wait. He runs to him. With open arms. That’s the picture of our Heavenly Father, isn’t it? Despite our shame. With our stained blots and blemishes. Waiting. With open arms. Yearning for us to come home. And bestow all His wondrous blessings.

Time would fail us to think of Balaam, or of Achan, of Demas or of "the rich fool", and others who, in some way or other, missed out on the blessing of God as a result of their love of this world and the desire to satisfy their desires for its pleasures.

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Isaiah 55.7

We all have a powerful need to know that someone in this world loves us and accepts us unconditionally. We especially crave our parents' blessing. And without it, we may become angry and driven, or detached and empty.

“A father may have a child who is ugly and lacking in all the graces, and the love he feels for him puts a blindfold over his eyes so that he does not see his defects but considers them signs of charm and intelligence and recounts them to his friends as if they were clever and witty.”

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Our Father is not blind. He sees all the defects. And still He loves us. And offers up His blessing. For you see, loneliness ends where the blessing begins. The path of almost every life is strewn with the wreckage of relationships that leave us nothing but a sense of frustration. The bitter taste born of shame. And yet, every one of us wants a blessing.

“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”

C.S. Lewis

Jacob and Esau. A familiar story of two young men. One walks out of his father’s presence joyful. The other was beyond heartbroken. That’s because one son received his father’s blessing. And the other did not.

Bless me even me O Father!

God identifies us as His own. We belong to Him. How precious indeed!