Sunday, December 22, 2019
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.2.And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. “ Gen 27: 1-4.

any sermons and lessons have been rightly taught from the story of Isaac and his two sons Jacob and Esau in this chapter. Most of them with emphasis on how Jacob connived with Racheal and deceived his father to get the blessing presumably due to Esau. Some emphasize how parents are not to raise children with bias and favouritism like Racheal. Some focus on how naive and careless Esau was with things that matter, first with his birthright and now with his fatherly blessing.

So we learnt lessons on classic deception, polarization, family struggles and many other things.

This morning the Holy Spirit taught me what I think is the main focus of this story- the blessing synonymous with venison. The story of how eating venison provokes fatherly blessings. It is about what sons (daughters) will do for fathers in their old age. The power of blessings that pour out of the father’s mouth after eating venison after all that is what is the genesis of the story. It is about what children will do - the venison- they will offer that whatever their father says - becomes irrevocable in their future.

Many in our generation despise the power of prayer to their detriment. Simple stories like this, of dying fathers dictating, prophesying or speaking some words and those words becoming the roadmap and future of the recipients is enough to convince anyone that prayer works. Look at the effect of Isaac’s prayer on his children, look at that of Jacob on his 12 sons, look at Jesus praying for his disciples, Paul’s countless prayers for his spiritual children. Prayer is real. I am a product of prayer and prophecy! Are you ?

What is venison? Why is venison important to the fathers as a prerequisite for pronouncing everlasting blessing? Why are today’s biological and spiritual children missing out on this? How can you correct that this Christmas season?

The term venison comes from the Latin verb venari, meaning “to hunt.” It can refer to meat coming from boar, hares, and certain species of goats and antelopes, but it most commonly applies to deer meat. Venison is important to fathers because it is a mark that they were used of God to bring children to this world, they have laboured to raise them and now they need them “to hunt” for them to eat part of the fruits of their labour before they depart. The Yorubas say when a rodent is old it sucks the breast of its children. It is not that fathers cannot bless children without eating venison, but venison is a way of the fathers saying show my investment in you is not in vain. Show me you care for me. Some fathers are genuinely incapacitated and really need venison to survive , but majority are in the position of Isaac not out of lack but to see what the child could offer. Provision of venison is missing in today’s generation. Venison today is about how you take care of your parents at old age.

Isaac was telling Esau “take care of me at old age and I will bless you”. Venison is more than one meal ! Why are today’s generation of children overlooking this important aspect of life? Are you providing venison to your parents, biological and spiritual? How are you taking care of them? Do you do for them what will make them happy? Isaac said “give me venison to eat before I die” Do you wait for your parents to ask for venison before you give them? Many people in our generation allow their parents to die without eating their venison and at death feed the whole community. Some allow their parent to live in ramshackle, dilapidated, uninhabitable, rundown houses and living environments and at death, before they bury them they go and build a magnificent house which those parents never enjoyed for one or two days’ burial ceremony.

Some Christians do not take care for their parents claiming that they’re idol worshippers, Unbelievers! Claiming if they give them money they will use it to serve their idol gods! Beloved, before you became born again those were your earthly parents.

Do you take care of your spiritual fathers? Those that preached to you, baptized you, taught you, conducted your wedding, named your baby, counseled you, encouraged you, dedicated your house & car, nurtured you and prayed for you? Now you have a good job,great marriage, thriving ministry, money is flowing around you - yanfu- yanfu, ( permit my colloquialism) do you remember those who taught you and raised you? Or do you find excuses not to give them venison waiting till they die before you come and pour useless encomium on them during service of songs? Why is it difficult for you to take care of people that raised you?

Isaac was saying “by virtue of being your father I can make your future better- I can bless you on one final condition- give me a venison!

I refer not just to biological but spiritual fathers and your mentors. They are the people that God has positioned around you that can give direction to your future by their prayers. That with their words of wisdom you can become much greater than you can imagine.

When Isaac finished eating the venison that Jacob deceitfully provided it did not devalue or diminish the value of the prayer- “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: 29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee” Gen 27:28-29.

Can you beat that! Fast forward we read “As a result, Jacob became very wealthy, with large flocks of sheep and goats, female and male servants, and many camels and donkeys.” Gen 30:43

Till today Israel as a nation enjoys the dew of heaven,Israel is uncommonly blessed as a nation, you will be doing yourself harm cursing Israel, or be doing yourself some good blessing them.

Paul was talking about venison to his spiritual children when he said “I know how to abase and how to abound .....not withstanding ye have well done; that ye did communicate with my affliction. ...My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” Phil 4:12.14,19. You are only entitled to the blessings of the fathers/mothers when you give them venison. When Cain refused to give God venison he incurred the wrath and curses of the Almighty. No venison no blessing. Wrong venison, curses instead of blessing!!

When I was growing up, nobody celebrated birthdays in my family. We were not even sure of my dad’s birthday. I once asked my grandmother for my father’s birthday, she said “in 1930 when we were trekking from Igede -Ekiti to Oke- Oye in Ilesa for the famous Joseph Ayo Babalola crusade your dad was already walking well and his junior brother was not, I had to carry him often.” That was how we guessed my dad’s age! As God began to prosper me I built a house for my father. I organized a venison for him in 2005, a birthday celebration. I invited the CAC President to come to Igede- Ekiti to minister. I invited our community king, The Onigede of Igede. Do I have to tell you that my father blessed me after eating the venison? He has gone to be with the Lord but his prayers are still dictating my enviable future! By the grace of God I have also continued to do that for my spiritual parents to garner more blessing!

Reader, covet the prayer of your father(mother) by giving him/her venison! Christmas season in particular is a time to give venisons to your parents! Your life is good, thank God for you but the prayers of your fathers can be a pedestal to a better and greater future.