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twins, but Esau was the first-born. Twenty long years had Rebekah been barren, but Isaac entreated the Lord for her, and her two sons were given in answer to prayer. Jacob, though the younger, got the best blessing, because God, who knows all hearts, ordered it so: and he got it notwithstanding the deceitful and sinful means he used to obtain it. But Esau was blessed also. He was blessed as to worldly substance and enjoyments, although the Messiah was not to be descended from him. God, in His sovereignty, preferred the younger. Jacob loved and highly valued covenant blessings, whereas Esau despised them, and preferred the gratification of his appetite. O my readers, value the blessings of Divine grace, and give them the preference to worldly objects. Shun the unbrotherly and deceptive conduct of Jacob, and value not the sensual gratifications of Esau.
His blessing.–This blessing is recorded at length in the twenty-seventh chapter of Genesis. It was prophetic. Isaac, by Divine revelation, pronounced the future destinies of his children, as Jacob afterwards did of his, and as Moses afterwards did of the tribes of Israel, and these predictions were in due time minutely verified. The blessing secured to both sons temporal prosperity. They were to be great men in the earth. Jacob was to have the refreshing and fertilizing dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and
ISAAC BLESSING HIS TWO SONS.
plenty of corn and wine; and Esau was to have similar temporal good things, but it was said to him, “ Thou shalt serve thy brother"
Esau was to be a great man, but Jacob was to be a greater than he. The blessing secured to Jacob covenant blessings, hence his great superiority to Esau. He was to be lord over his brother; he was to succeed to all his father's honours ; he was to have a numerous posterity ; the Messiah was to spring from his loins; and in his seed all the families of the earth were to be blessed. O my soul, if thou wouldst value spiritual blessings, thou must first value thy birthright in Christ, and refuse to sell it as Esau did his, however destitute and desperate thy circumstances !
His faith.—“By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau.” He believed in God as his father's God, his own God and portion, and faithful and true to His people and to all His promises. And shall not I believe as Isaac believed ? “The Lord is my portion, saith my soul.” He believed the truth revealed to him conce
ncerning his seed. Shall God reveal His will to me in the Scriptures, and shall I not believe and act up to it, and make it the rejoicing of my soul ? Shall I not endeavour to communicate it to my children, as well as to those who are perishing for lack of knowledge ? He believed that God would in due time fulfil all His promises, and overrule all events for the good of His people.
AN ANTIDOTE TO FOLLY.
“Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in
the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes : but know thou, that for all these things, God will bring thee into judgment."-Eccles. xi. 9.
This is not merely the language of inspiration, but it is spoken by one who had large experience of folly, as well as of wisdom, and who doubtless reaped the bitter fruits.
Young persons may be foolish if they choose.-In youth the passions are strong, the hopes are high, the world is attractive, the pleasures of sense are fascinating, and thoughtlessness and mirth sow the seeds of misery. The young have no experience, and they are often not willing to profit by the experience of others, hence their knowledge and wisdom are acquired in a very dear school. Youth is the season of mirth. “Rejoice in thy youth.” Live a life of thoughtlessness and folly if you will. Banish all care and anxiety about the future, and court sensual enjoyments, but think of the consequences. A young person was urged by a minister to seek religion without delay. Not till the enjoyments of youth are past, was the reply. In two weeks that young person was on a bed of sickness and death. The minister was sent for. At the last hour he urged the claims of Jesus,
AN ANTIDOTE TO FOLLY.
but the dying sinner whispered in his ear, It is too late, I am lost. How fearful is a death without hope, hope in the dying, and hope in the friends that survive! How awful may be the consequences of youthful folly. “Let thy heart cheer thee.” Thoughtless reader, imagine vain things, indulge fancy, foster vanity, cherish hopes of enjoyment never to end, live in a dream of pleasure, exclude serious thoughts from thy mind, and believe that youth will never give place to old age, and ere ever thou art aware, all is lost. 6 Walk in the ways of thine heart.” Let thine heart be fixed on perishing objects, contrive ingeniously sensual pleasures, plan all manner of wickedness, and carry out in thy conduct the imagination of thy heart. Walk through the world taking thine own way, unchecked by friends, and unchecked by thoughts of the future. “ Walk in the sight of thine eyes.” In all these follies the young might indulge, provided there were no hereafter and no judgment.
The young are accountable for their folly. “Know thou that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." There is a judgment often in this life. Belshazzar was a fool, God weighed him in the balances, and he lost his kingdom and his life. Haman was wicked, and retributive justice brought the punishment which he prepared for another on himself; and so of Ahab and Jezebel, Daniel's persecutors, and others. Judgment may linger for a time, but it is sure to come at last. God's government is just and perfect, and to vindicate it, there shall be a day of reckoning, when all men of every age, and character, and country, shall be brought into judgment. Think of the Judge. God will bring thee into judgment by Jesus Christ. He who was once the babe of Bethlehem shall sit on the throne of the universe. He who once stood at the bar of Pilate, shall have Pilate and all men standing at His bar. He knows every character and every sin ; the glance of His eye shall scan every heart; His decisions shall be impartial, and His omnipotence will immediately carry His decisions into effect. Think of the comprehensiveness of the judgment: “All these things." All the foolish thoughts, and vain imaginations, and wicked actions of the young, shall be brought up and tried. Amazing disclosures which none can escape! Think of the certainty of the judgment. “Know thou.” Judgment is as sure as death. The voice of reason, of conscience, and of Scripture, alike proclaims the certainty of the judgment. The young may forget it, but they cannot escape it. The young may disregard it, but it will find them out. The young may plunge into licentiousness, but they cannot plunge into oblivion. They may sin away their time, but they cannot sin away their eternity; for they cannot escape the judgment of God.