May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you! Genesis 27:28-29
Wishing you good things or nice, obedient children could hardly be considered giving you a blessing because of the uncertainty of the outcome. But the blessing Isaac gave Jacob was neither empty words nor good wishes from one person to another. Isaac’s blessing was definite and would certainly come to pass. It wasn’t just a wish. Isaac actually gave Jacob something, telling him in effect, “Take the gifts that I am promising with my word.”
Saying, “I wish you a strong and healthy body and mind,” doesn’t mean much. But if I were to hand you a thousand dollars and say, “I would like you to have this money,” now that would be different. Similarly, Jesus told the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home” (Matthew 9:6). If he were merely wishing the best, he would have said, “Poor man, I wish you were healthy and strong.” But that wouldn’t have cured or strengthened the sick man. Those good wishes would have accomplished little.
The Bible isn’t filled with good wishes. It contains real blessings that actually come to pass. We have these kinds of blessings in the New Testament through Christ. We receive a blessing when the pastor says, “Receive forgiveness for you sins.” If he were to say, “I wish that God would show you favor and mercy, give you eternal life, and forgive your sins,” it would be merely an expression of love. Instead, he says, “I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” These words have the power to actually forgive you, if you believe.
The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s exposition on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ.
The Ambassador Classics series brings the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.