6th February 2023
Read - Genesis 25, Hebrews 11:20
Message Alan Burke
Isaac was a miracle baby, he was the long awaited child of Abraham and Sarah, one who was born to them when they were advanced in years and beyond the natural age for bearing children. His name literally means laughter and for his parents that name that would evoked varied emotions, that would have often brought back to their minds how God had promised them a son and told them that they would be given a son even in their old age to which they responded with laughter. Not only that, for it would also have brought back the years of hurt and disappointment but also how by the power of God Sarah was able to conceived and first looked down at those little eyes of her son Isaac, and seeing him grow before her eyes calling him Isaac, laughter because God has brought her laughter, (Gen 21:6).
Isaac grew, we learn about how he was one who was received back from death when Abraham when tested offered him as a sacrifice. Some years later, Isaac and Rebekah get together, how it took place is told to us in Genesis 24, Throughout which the providence of God is clear, God was at work bringing Rebekah and Isaac together and is displayed both in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. Showing that God can be trusted even when there seems like no earthly chance of things working out.
As the narrative moves on history repeated itself in Genesis 25. There we learn of how Isaac and Rebekah struggled to have children and in the midst of it, Isaac prayed to the Lord for His help in the situation because Rebekah could not have children (Gen 25:21). The word that is used to speak of Isaac’s prayer, his intercession to the Lord means to beg, to plead. Isaac in his desperation cried out to the Lord, yet the Lord did not answer him immediately, we learn that it was twenty years before the Lord granted his prayer and Rebekah conceived and to them were given two sons, twins, Esau and Jacob.
Isaac was a man that we learn in Scripture was one who sought the Lord, but also Rebekah his wife too, for when she had conceived, the children struggled, they wrestled within her and she also turned to the Lord from whom she learns that the two children are, in Genesis 25:23 we read;
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.” (Gen 25:23).
What did the Lord mean in this?
It was that His covenant promise would continue through the younger brother Jacob rather than the older brother Esau. It wasn’t how things usually worked, usually the eldest boy even until fairly recently received the inheritance. Yet as Esau and Jacob grew, Isaac favoured his older son who was a hunter of game while Rebekah favoured Jacob. We don’t have time to focus on the ins and outs but these were two flawed parents.
I know it’s not the thrust of where we are going today for we are focusing on what comes in chapter 27 but there is an application that we learn from the life of Isaac and Sarah even though they were flawed individuals. It is easy to get discouraged isn’t it, when we have the same struggles, when nothing seems to change. It can be easy for us to simply give up when we have cried out to the Lord for what seems like years or what is actually years and that God has to us done nothing, our prayers to us are unanswered, they have fallen on deaf ears. Yet the Lord works in prayer even though we cannot see it, even when his answer seems contrary to what we desire. For Isaac and Rebekah he answered according to His purposes, but they had to wait, twenty long years for the answer.
Q69 What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto. (Acts 16:28, Gen. 9:6)