The God of Abraham, Isaac, Oh and Jacob Too

When we look at the origin story of our faith, we often come to three names: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. All three of these men have stories attached to their names. Abraham is the father of our faith. He’s the catapult that God chose to launch His plan for redemption. Isaac is one of Abraham’s sons who is almost sacrificed, but then isn't. Isaac eventually has Jacob who goes on to be renamed Israel and has 12 sons that are the 12 tribes of Israel. Abraham and Jacob both have pretty cool stories attached to their lives, while Isaac tends to be overlooked sometimes.

Imagine being Isaac. A son to a father who was promised by God himself to have all the land his eye could see and descendants as numerous as the stars. Imagine the weight that Isaac would have felt having to uphold a promise that huge that wasn’t even technically given to you. I feel like there would have been so much pressure and ambition to try to bring that promise to fruition. But when we dive into Genesis 26, we see a story of faithfulness and steadiness that often gets overlooked.

In this passage, Isaac’s family is experiencing a famine. His first thought is to move to Egypt to take care of his family. That’s where all of the resources are. But God appears to Isaac and promises him the same thing that was promised to his father. God also tells him not to go to Egypt, but instead “stay in the land for a while and I will be with you and will bless you.”

I think that in life, we often feel the same pressure and angst that Isaac probably felt. When we feel like God has spoken something over our lives, it’s easy to try and make it happen out of our own strength without actually listening to what God is asking us to do in the moment. I love the story of Isaac because you can see Isaac not doing anything without God’s guidance. God told Isaac to stay put and he would take care of him. With everything happening around Isaac, it was probably an easy decision to leave the land. God telling Isaac to stay did not make sense, but Isaac obeyed anyway and God blessed him and took care of him because of it. Isaac was so blessed by God that the King of that region asked him to leave because he was too much of a threat.

In my own experience, I try to over-complicate my life with God. I tend to strive to make things happen or to motivate God to bless/love me more when all I really need to do is be more reliant on God and what he’s asking me to do. God calls us to be obedient to what He’s said and faithful with what he’s put in our hands. If God hasn’t said anything new then keep doing the thing He told us to do before. Isaac’s story wasn’t flashy, but it was a steady bridge to help usher in God’s promise of redemption for all of His people. I think a lot of us can identify more with Isaac’s story than we’d like to admit. Everybody wants to be an Abraham or a Jacob when God is calling us to be more like Isaac.

JOURNAL: Here are some questions to process.

  • What are my motivations behind my obedience to God? Is it for recognition or a desire to be closer to God?
  • Do I want what I want or do I want what God wants in my life and in the lives of those around me?
  • How can I be more faithful with what God has already asked me to do?

PRAY: Ask God to help you fulfill the calling on your life by trusting in Him and not in your own strength.
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