"Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud. His father Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.” Genesis 27:38-40
Isaac and Rebecca, had two boys named Esau and Jacob. They were twins. Jacob was very treacherous and his momma's favorite (Momma's boy), and Esau was the wild one. He loved hunting and being out in the wild. He was his dad's favorite. His father was quite along in years and knew his time to die was soon nearing, so he decided he was going to bless his favorite son before he died. So he called his son, Esau, and told him what he needed to do to get the blessings.
"Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die." Genesis 27:2-4
Esau went to do what his father asked him to do. He went to hunt for the type of meat his father liked. But when he was out, his mother overheard the conversation between him and his dad and decided that her favorite child, Jacob should get the blessings instead. So she took matters into her own hands.
"Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die. Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies." Genesis 27:5-10
She decided to prepare the meal herself since she knew how her husband liked it, and sent Jacob to serve him instead. Since Isaac was very old, and he had lost his sight, he could only rely on his sense of smell and touch to confirm whether it was indeed the right son or not. Rebekah went to great lengths to make sure the trickery was successful.
"Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made." Genesis 27:15-17
"Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.” Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he proceeded to bless him. “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “I am,” he replied... Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.”
So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him" Genesis 27:21-27
The trickery worked, and Isaac ended up blessing Jacob, not Esau, who he originally wanted to bless. The blessing was a one time thing. It couldn't be duplicated, so when Esau came back from his hunt, he cooked for his father and took the food to him, but unfortunately, he was too late.
"After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please 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! When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!”
But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.” Genesis 27:30-35
Obviously Esau is devastated. He went out in the field under the hot sun and hunted the animal, brought it home, cook it well, only to find out his brother stole his blessings. His brother didn't have to do any work. His mother did it all for him and he just presented himself and got the blessings. Esau is bitter, and rightfully so. Jacob had a track record of cheating him, so this wasn't the first time he has done something like this. Esau is angry but also desperate, and begs his father to bless him too. At least, give him something. His father doesn't bless him, because there are no more blessings to give. But he says this to Esau:
"Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud. His father Isaac answered him,
“Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. BUT when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck." Genesis 27:38-40
This doesn't sound like much of a blessing. It actually sounds like a curse. But it's not. It's the best word of advice his father could have given him. His father pretty much said all those things I said to your brother will happen. He will be great, and you will serve him. However, this will only happen as long as you ALLOW it. This part;
BUT when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.
Is a blessing in disguise. A way out. A LOOP HOLE. Isaac couldn't give Esau the blessings because Jacob got it. And those blessings will be manifested in both their lives. But the father, seeing how distraught his favorite son was over this betrayal, couldn't bare to have him live the rest of his life with these consequences. So he found a loop hole for Esau. He said, yes, Jacob will rule over you, for a season, and all those other things will come to pass...as long as YOU ALLOW IT. The day you get tired of it, you will throw that yoke off your neck and BE FREE. It was up to Esau the whole time. He could choose to remain his brother's servant or take charge of his destiny. He could mourn over the betrayal from his brother, and blessings he lost, or never received, or get up, stop feeling sorry for himself, and make his own blessings.
We have all experienced things that have left us feeling sorry for ourselves and kept us in the prison of victim mentality. You can either live the rest of your life in anger, bitterness, and vengeance, or choose to forgive, let go, and Be Free. You can live the rest of your life as the victim, under the bondage of addiction, struggles, etc., or choose to break free from that yoke. Choose that you've had enough.
No matter what has happened to you, whether it is your fault or not, there is always a way out. And many times, the life you want, is within your reach, and in your control. Take advantage of that loophole, and set yourself free.
If you read the chapters ahead, when Jacob and Esau reunite, we see that Esau had forgiven Jacob and he was extremely wealthy as well.
"Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept." Esau asked, “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?”
“To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said.
But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.”
If you read all of that passage, you will realize that Esau had amassed a lot of wealth and prosperity for himself. He was not his brother's servant. He was his own boss, and the master of his destiny. He finally understood that the key to his life was not in staying bitter and resentful towards the one who betrayed him and stole much from him. He took charge of his life, let go of past hurts, and thrived. He was free. (Forgiveness=Freedom). Literal in every sense of the way.
Isaac finding a loophole for his son also reminds me of the nature of God, our Heavenly Father. He will always find a loophole in every situation you're in, if you let him. No matter the circumstance we're in, He always finds a way to get us out of it.
So rest. And Be free.