It seems like the younger child has been blessed more than the older since the beginning of time. Cain and Abel were the first set of siblings to experience this. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and not Cain’s. Cain later killed Abel, and was forever cursed. Yet, more examples abound.
Throughout the initial genealogy of the Abrahamic line, blessings and curses were a constant factor. God gave Abraham a word of blessing and told him that his offspring would be as numerous as the grains of sand on the beach. Abraham and his wife Sarah heard the blessing, received the blessing, and STILL attempted to circumvent God’s word. Instead of being patient and waiting for it to come to fruition, Abraham made a decision to listen to his wife, and their lives were irrevocably changed. Ishmael was born first, and though he was later promised fruitfulness as well, the blessing that God spoke was not to come through him. The initially spoken promise to Abraham and Sarah was to come through THEIR son, Isaac, who was Abrahams second born son.
Isaac’s sons, Esau and Jacob, were the next illustration of the younger child receiving a blessing more defining than the older child. Even though Jacob received the blessing through trickery and illicit means, he still got it. Isaac was disturbed when he learned of the deceit that caused him to, in his mind, inadvertently bestow the blessing on Jacob instead of Esau. God knew how it was all going to play out however. Even in the next generation of Jacob’s kids, his son Joseph ended up ruling a land where his older brothers had to come. As Jacob was on his deathbed, he blessed Joseph’s sons, and the youngest AGAIN received the stronger blessing.
Noticing a pattern yet?
All of these thoughts were going through my head today as my youngest daughter was being christened today. The words spoken over her by the pastor, as my wife and I held her was a charge not only to us, but the rest of our family as well. Even as I listened, I thought of my oldest receiving them as well. As a father of two little girls, I want them to have the same great opportunities, and receive the same kinds of blessings. It’s nothing wrong with feeling this way, as I am sure most fathers would. But, I also know the blessings that are spoken to and over my youngest are for her, and her alone.
I used to wonder how Abraham felt, knowing that he had an older son, but God orchestrated it so that the promises of fruitfulness would come from the child that would come later. When Jacob was blessing Joseph’s sons, Joseph had them in the correct chronological order, yet the younger still the best of what was offered. It had to be rough as fathers to know what was happening, yet being unwilling to be disobedient to God. Disobedience very well could have cancelled out the blessings altogether. Nobody wants that. So like them, it’s a tough pill to swallow, but obedience to God is more important than how I feel. Yet, even God experienced what He had other fathers experience.
Follow me. Adam was the original Man, and God blessed him. Adam sinned against God and recieved a kind of curse, unto all of mankind. Jesus was the “second Adam”, and all honor and glory were given to Him to bestow on whom He saw fit. In effect, Jesus was the fulfillment of the law, that was enacted when Adam sinned. In parallel lines, Isaac was the fulfillment of the blessing Abraham was to receive, even though Ishmael was already there.
I have no idea what the future holds for either one of my girls. I will speak life over them both, and strive to make opportunities for them both. Yet, I also know that while both will be blessings, and be blessed in different ways, the last shall indeed one day be first.