Although we can’t find significant achievements in the life of Isaac when compared to his father Abraham, he is mentioned amongst the patriarchs of faith (Hebrews 11:20). Initially i struggled with this story because i felt he didn’t really do much in comparison to others listed in Hebrews 11. However i realised that there are huge lessons that can be learnt from his life.
His journey of faith started off when his father laid him on the altar to sacrifice him to God. Isaac has been going with his dad to make these sacrifices so he knew that something was missing this time. His dad’s response to him when he asked was that God was going to provide a lamb for this. He would have been told of his birth story, his faith in God has started to develop. So he must have believed that the God who could open the womb of his old mother was more than able to provide a lamb for the sacrifice. This was an act of faith. I’m sure Isaac never forgot how God saved him from death by miraculously providing a lamb for their sacrifice.
When we are faced with trials and challenges of life, are we able to look back at previous victories? Do we strengthen our faith in God by remembering what He has done for us previously or do we allow fear consume us?
Isaac was able to submit to God as a result of faith. He believed the words of his dad who he saw as his mentor. How often do we submit to the faith of our spiritual mentors?
The sacrifice of Isaac who was a son of promise (i call it a sacrifice because God saw it as such) is a great analogy that mirrors God giving up his only son Jesus Christ who is also a son of promise to be sacrificed. When he arrived at the place of sacrifice with his dad, he was willing to lay down his life. The bible is silent about Isaac’s age when he was offered for sacrifice. However if he was strong enough to carry the wood up the mountain, then he was probably strong enough to resist being sacrificed. There is no record of him fighting his dad regarding this. Despite what must have been going through his mind, he remained humble even at the point of death. This is a reflection of Jesus as recorded in Acts 8:32 and Isaiah 53:7. God requires us to be faithful even at the point of death.
Isaac submitted to God’s will in choosing a wife (Genesis 24). He allowed God to write his love story. Are we willing to wait for God or do we rush ahead of Him?
He wasn’t a faultless man either. In Genesis 26:7, Isaac is found making the same mistake his dad made; he lied that his wife Rebekah was his sister as a result of fear.
Isaac was a peacemaker (Genesis 26:18-25). He believed vengeance was God’s. He trusted and allowed God to fight his battles.
He was able to accept God’s will when his plan got interrupted. He had two sons – Esau and Jacob. He loved Esau while Rebekah loved Jacob. Esau being the first was entitled to receive Isaac’s inheritance and blessings. But as the story played out in Genesis 27, Jacob deceived Isaac and stole what belonged to Esau. Isaac found himself going against the tradition. He has blessed and given his inheritance to his younger son instead of the eldest. Despite going against the norm in his culture, he was able to accept and submit to God’s will as revealed in Genesis 25:23 when he realised he had made a mistake.
Isaac’s act of submission to God’s will guaranteed him a seat in God’s kingdom (Luke 13:28) and a space in the heros of faith’s list.
The story of Isaac further goes to prove that God’s ways are different from ours. We might not always understand His ways but we can trust that His plans for us are always the best even if it doesn’t look and feel good in that moment. It’s ok for us to have our plans but we must align ours with God’s in order to live a life that pleases Him. In spite of Isaac’s failures in his walk, he believed God.
So my decisions are;
- To be submissive to God’s will
- To surrender every area of my life to God
- To always remember what God has done
- That my life will be a living sacrifice to God
What are yours? Let me know in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading. I will be going away tomorrow to come back next week. Hope to see you then as we look at Jacob.
Please feel free to check out the other topics in this series.