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Isaac: Where's the faith?



Talk about dysfunctional! Isaac, Rebekah, and the twin boys, Esau and Jacob, needed counseling! They were a messed-up wreck of a family!

David, the shepherd, psalmist, and king, was a man with a heart and soul synced with God (I Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:33). But David was also a failed father with a messed-up wreck of a family!

Am I the only guy who is comforted by the fact that the heroes of the Bible weren’t perfect? In some odd way, their failures make me feel better. I don’t have to be perfect for God to love me and use me.

Isaac, the son of Abraham, lived with God’s promise of multitudes of descendants. But like Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah were slow to conceive. As we know, God is the Promise-keeper, the One who answers our prayers.

The couple prayed, and God finally answered. Rebekah gave birth to healthy twin boys when Isaac was 60-years-old. (Genesis 25:26)

With Esau’s arrival, came the announcement of the first-born son! “Hallelujah, we have a son. We have an heir! This beautiful boy will continue the family line!”

Hold on... before the boys were born, Rebekah prayed. God answered with a surprising twist. “The older will serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23). In other words, the younger twin will be the heir that continues the family line.

Apparently, Isaac didn’t get the memo. Anyway, he lived the rest of his life grooming Esau, the older, to carry the torch. Isaac loved Esau. Rebekah loved Jacob (Genesis 25:28). There wasn’t enough love to go around. Sad.

We don’t have enough space to retell the story here, but you can read it in Genesis 27. For our purposes today, suffice it to say, they were messed-up. By conniving and manipulation, by lying and cheating, Isaac ultimately awarded the blessings of the first-born to Jacob, the younger.

That brings us to the Hall of Faith. “By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau.” (Hebrews 11:20, ESV)

Where’s the faith?

Okay, I’m stumped, baffled, befuddled. It’s a conundrum.

But, here’s my response. God knows, even when we don’t. God is God. And, God’s grace is greater than our sin. God used Isaac’s feeble and failed life and redeemed it for His purposes.

So, don’t follow Isaac’s example, but know that God is able to restore, renew, and redeem.

Remember, Jacob had twelve sons. One of those was Judah. And in the long line of Judah’s descendants came... Jesus!

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