Isaac Blesses Jacob | Bible Story

Isaac Blesses Jacob

After Jacob had tricked his father Isaac into giving him Esau’s birthright blessing, he was forced to flee from his enraged twin brother who wanted to kill him. Their mother Rebekah helped arrange for Jacob to travel far away to her brother Laban’s home to find a wife from among their relatives.

As Jacob prepared to leave the promised land of Canaan, his father Isaac called him in for a final blessing before the long journey. Though Isaac’s eyesight was greatly diminished due to old age, he could sense the voice was Jacob’s. 

Isaac Blesses Jacob

Isaac said to Jacob, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan, as Esau did by marrying two Hittite women who have grieved me. Instead, go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel. There you will find wives from the daughters of your uncle Laban.”

Isaac then pronounced a beautiful patriarchal blessing upon Jacob, transferring all the covenant promises God had originally given to Abraham:

“May the Almighty God bless you and make you fertile, so that you will become an assembly of peoples. May God bestow on you and your descendants the blessing of Abraham, so that you may possess the land where you are residing as an outsider, which God gave to Abraham.”

With these words, Isaac passed down the inherited blessings of the Abrahamic covenant to his son Jacob – that he would be tremendously fruitful with offspring,  become a great multitude of people, and ultimately inherit the promised land of Canaan as a permanent possession. It was the same blessing that should have gone to Esau as the firstborn son, but now it rightly belonged to Jacob.

So Jacob left his parents and the promised land, heading out on a long journey to find relatives and a wife in Paddan-aram, which was over 500 miles away. That first night, in the wilderness between Canaan and Aram, Jacob had an incredible dream encounter with God Himself.

In the dream, Jacob saw a stairway stretching from earth to heaven, with angels of God continuously ascending and descending on it. Then the Lord stood beside Jacob and repeated the covenant promises to him:

“I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of your father Isaac. The ground you are lying on I will give to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be as countless as the dust of the earth! They will spread out across the lands to the west and east, to the north and south. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. What is more, I will be with you, and I will protect you wherever you go.”

When Jacob awoke from this amazing dream, he was completely in awe, declaring “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it! This is the house of God and the gate of heaven!”

Jacob made a solemn vow to God, saying “If you will be with me and protect me on my journey, and give me food to eat and garments to wear, and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone that I have set up as a memorial pillar shall be the house of God, and I will give to You a tenth of all that You give me.”

From this incredible divine encounter, Jacob understood the same covenant blessings bestowed upon his grandfather Abraham, and then his father Isaac, now rightfully belonged to him and his future offspring. Though Jacob had wrongly schemed to obtain these blessings, God still remained faithful to uphold His promises through Jacob’s family line.

So Jacob pressed onward with renewed faith and purpose. In the region of Paddan-aram, Jacob met his uncle Laban and fell in love with his cousin Rachel, working seven years for Laban to earn her hand in marriage. Though Laban deceived Jacob by switching his daughters on the wedding night, forcing Jacob to marry Leah first before Rachel, the two wives began producing many children.

These children eventually became the ancestors of the twelve tribes of Israel. God blessed Jacob, also renaming him “Israel”, by giving him twelve sons who would grow into a great nation, just as promised to Abraham centuries earlier.

Over twenty years later, God instructed Jacob to take his family, herds and belongings and return to the promised land of Canaan. On the journey, Jacob had another incredible divine encounter when he wrestled with God Himself all night until the break of dawn!

Though Jacob’s hip was wrenched in the wrestling match, God blessed him once more, saying “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel…for you have striven with God and with men, and you have prevailed.”

So it was that God honored the name “Israel,” ensuring Jacob’s family line would become a mighty nation that inherited the promised blessings originally foretold to Abraham and Isaac. All because of Isaac’s deathbed blessing upon Jacob many years before.

The story teaches us that though we may act sinfully at times like Jacob did through deception, God remains faithful to uphold His covenant promises from generation to generation. Our Heavenly Father blesses those who fear and follow Him wholeheartedly, just as Jacob ultimately did after his dream visions of the Lord.

God’s words are eternal and more powerful than any schemes or obstacles we face. Like Jacob’s patriarchal blessing from Isaac, we have inherited the greatest spiritual blessing through Jesus Christ – to become citizens of God’s everlasting Kingdom and part of His blessed covenant family! What an incredible promise to hold on to.