Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Isaac: Part 2 (Genesis 26)

As already mentioned, we don’t truly get Isaac’s story in Genesis. Chapter 25 sees Abraham’s story end, and then we get the structural divider of Ishmael’s line. “Now these are the records…” verse 12. In Verse 19 we start the new major section, “Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac.” But this is Jacob’s story. That said, chapter 26 is devoted to Isaac.

With Isaac we see four interesting story-points.

One, unlike Abraham, God tells Isaac to stay where he is and he will be blessed. God does not work in everyone’s life the same way. If He commands us to do something, we are wrong to think everyone should also be held to that expectation.

Two, like Abraham, Isaac makes the bone-headed decision to claim that his wife is his sister. Fortunately for him, the local ruler realizes the truth before anything bad can happen. Sons frequently fall into the same mistakes and sins of their fathers.

Three, Isaac is a great example of Kingdom diplomacy. Jesus will later tell his disciples to love their enemies. He commanded His followers to not seek justice or fair treatment but rather to trust God to care for them. Isaac is repeatedly run off from his place and the efforts he invests in setting up a home for his vast people and property. God continues to provide.

Four. Later on, God will command His people to cleanse the land of its idolatrous cultures. But here Isaac makes a covenant with Abimelech. God has told him to stay and the right thing to do in normal circumstances is to make peace with others. The conquest of the land later on is the outlier, the special circumstance.

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