Chosen That You May Proclaim – Isaac

We reflected on the life of Abraham last week, and heard him confidently proclaim truth to his chosen son, Isaac: “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8).  After God brings the ram,  “Abraham called that place The LORD will provide” (Genesis 22:14).

This theme of God’s provision appears repeatedly throughout Isaac’s life. He marries Rebekah when he is forty years old and soon finds out that she is barren.   Rather than attempting to take matters into his own hands, Isaac appeals to the promises of God.   He “prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife” (Genesis 25:21) for twenty years and is finally blessed with twin sons at the age of sixty.

  • Do you have a “twenty year” prayer request?  Are you continuing to bring it before God, asking for His guidance, direction and peace as you wait for an answer?

God provides them with children, and continues to build Isaac’s faith.  A famine ravages the area, but “The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.  Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you” (Genesis 26:2-3).  God directed Abraham to go to Egypt to save his family, but he asks Isaac to stay where he is and watch Him provide.

  • Has God ever met  you in a position of economic insecurity and asked you to trust Him?

“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.  He had so many flock and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him” (Genesis 26:12-14).  Jealous of God’s provision, the Philistines fill up all of his families wells with dirt.   Instead of fighting for his rights, Isaac relies on God to care for his family.  He moves on and digs new wells; the Philistines pursue him and sabotage his work time and time again.  Finally, after repeating this pattern four times, the Philistines admit defeat.  Isaac identifies God’s hand at work in this turn of events proclaiming, “Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land.” (Genesis 26:22).

  • Have you ever given up something that might have been “rightfully yours” for the sake of glorifying God, or being obedient to His call on your life?

After Isaac glorifies God in this skirmish, God appears to him for the second time and re-affirms His promises saying, “Do not be afraid for I am with you” (Genesis 26:24).

God is obviously with him, but Isaac doesn’t always seek His counsel. Like his father, he almost gives up his wife to save his own life (Genesis 26:7-11), and he actively favors one son over the other causing rifts in his marriage and years of estrangement between Jacob and the rest of the family (Genesis 27). Nevertheless, God provides him with peace before He dies.  “Jacob came home to his father Isaac… Then [Isaac] breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people old, and full of years.  And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.” (Genesis 35:27-29)

  • Are you waiting for a child to return?  Are you praying that God would restore relationships within your family?

Isaac experienced God’s provision and passes on the family blessing to Jacob, proclaiming:

“May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you make take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham” (Genesis 28:3-4).

Isaac’s birth demonstrated that God keeps his promises (Genesis 21), and his life testified to God’s faithfulness.  How can ours do the same?

 

Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women