GENESIS 27: DYING WELL
1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, 4 and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.” (Gen. 27:1-4 ESV)
Isaac did not know exactly when he would die, but he knew he was dying. He understood time was short. He thus determined to use what time remained to bless his oldest son Esau.
Such a blessing was critical in the ancient world. It passed on identity and authority.
And while our interest may quickly fall to the dramatic details of the unfolding story, we’d do well to pause here. Isaac models something which is foreign in our western culture. We place a premium on living well. Isaac also placed a premium on dying well. We give most of our thought and energy to how we will live. Isaac gave thought and energy also to how he would die. He sought to die as well as he had lived.
And, for Isaac, dying meant using his final days and final strength to bless those most in need of his blessing.
What if that became the primary concern for us as we moved closer to death: how can I use my remaining days to bless those most in need of a blessing? Our blessing will look vastly different than Isaac’s. But even in our sunset days, we remain capable of giving the greatest blessings.
Let’s be those who die as well as we live. Let’s give our final days to blessing those who most need a blessing.
Thank you God, for the blessing Jesus died to give me. Help me to live each day as a blessing to others, especially the final days, when they come. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Think of someone who died well. What did they do? How were others blessed by their final days? In what ways does this inform the way you wish to be in your final days?
Chris is a spiritual director, the author of seven books, a father to Jordan and Jacob, a husband to Kendra, and has preached for the Highland Church of Christ in the Memphis, Tennessee area since 1998.