Story of Isaac
2 Timothy 2:2 – Hear, Entrust, Teach, Multiply!
Isaac means “laughter.” As his name suggests, Isaac brought laughter to the home of Abraham and Sarah. Right on time, Isaac was born in fulfillment of the unconditional covenant God made with Abraham.
“I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants forever.” – Genesis 17:19b
The covenantal bond between God and Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:7-19, 17:19-22) would be repeated twice, first to Isaac in Canaan (Genesis 26:4), and then to Jacob at Bethel (Genesis 28:14).
Apart from his circumcision on the eighth day, there isn’t much information about Isaac’s early life. What is clear is that Abraham instilled in his son the knowledge of the Lord and a desire to obey Him.
An Obedient Son
According to Josephus, Isaac was twenty-five years of age when he went with Abraham from Beer-sheba to the land of Moriah. It was there that the only begotten son of the promise to Abraham was going to be offered to God as a burnt sacrifice.
Much is rightly made of Abraham’s unfailing faith, his submission to the divine command to offer up his only son. Don’t forget Isaac’s supreme confidence in his father and his willing consent to God’s directive (Gen. 22:12; 26:5; Heb. 11:17). In Isaac, we have a type of Him who gave Himself for our sins. From the day of his surrender to death, Isaac became a dedicated man. “The altar sanctified the gift.”
Isaac’s mother, Sarah, died when he was thirty-six years old. He grieved deeply. It was not until Isaac took Rebekah as his wife that a vacant place in his heart was filled, and he received comfort.
Unlike his father before him and Jacob afterward, Isaac had but one wife. The Bible informs us that Isaac left the choice of his wife up to God. When the caravan bearing Rebekah neared his home, Isaac was in the fields meditating (Gen. 24:63).
The Covenant Continues
For many years Isaac and Rebekah were childless, but God heard Isaac’s prayers, and Rebekah gave birth to twins, Esau and Jacob. Isaac seems to have outlived his wife, dying at the age of 180 (Gen. 35:28).
Isaac’s character, in many ways beautiful, was marred with individual human failures. He followed his father, Abraham, in deceitfulness when he called his Rebekah his sister, bringing upon himself the rebuke of Abimelech. In the matter of Esau and the blessing, Isaac rebelled against the Lord’s purpose that the “older would serve the younger.”
Isn’t it wonderful that God uses us despite our sin? As God’s followers believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of His only begotten Son, our past does not define us. God blessed Abraham not because Abraham was good, but because He is good. Isaac lived in the truth that he observed his father walk in. Now it is our turn.
Talk Thru the Bible – OT Lessons
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Read Genesis 16-17, 21-22, 24-28
- God unconditionally guaranteed Abraham a great family. After many years of waiting, God set His promise to Abraham and Sarah in motion through the birth of their son, Isaac.
- Abraham walked with eyes of faith. Even when God asked for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham trusted God would restore Isaac’s life after death. Abraham passed his faithfulness to Isaac, his only son, who walked according to his belief in the One God.
- Isaac means laughter. He brought joy to his parents and even to God, Himself.
- What did Isaac know about the covenant God made with Abraham, his father?
- How did Isaac’s knowledge impact what he did when Abraham was going to sacrifice him?
- What role does Hebrews 11:17-19 play in your understanding of the story of Isaac?
Make an “I will” Statement.
- Based on your study of Isaac’s life, what will you think, say, or do differently starting today?
- Who will you tell your “I will” statement to that will hold you accountable?