The Isaac Stories

Today's Bible reading: Genesis 24:1-66

The story of Abraham begins with God’s call and God's promises: Abraham is to possess the whole land of Canaan … he will become a great nation … and through him, blessing will pass to all people of the world.  God calls … Abraham receives and clings to God's promises ... and Abraham obeys and steps forward in faith.  If we were reading or hearing these accounts for the first time, the key thing we would be asking ourselves would be: “How will God's promise to make Abraham into a great nation come true?”  He has a son - Isaac - but not a large family.  Again: “How was the promised land going to be possessed?”  This is our focus this week: how these promises come true … as we take a look at the accounts of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.

First, we turn our attention to Isaac.  Actually, there aren't too many chapters in the Bible about Isaac.  The accounts are brief … but the themes are clear.  Abraham makes the necessary arrangements for a wife for Isaac to be found from among his own people – not from among the Canaanite people that surrounded him.  Yet, the charming story of the finding of Rebecca again shows God's plan being put into effect.  Abraham’s servant rightly praises God for the success of his mission.

However, no sooner is Rebecca found, then a consistent theme rears its head – one that could - once again - derail the promise: Rebecca is childless … just as Sarah was.  Again, we see God dealing with what seems to be another impossible situation … and again, God creates something out of nothing: Esau and Jacob are born.  But the arrival of the twins - each a favorite of one parent - raises the question: “Who will inherit the blessing? Who will God use to carry out His plan?”  This then brings our attention to Isaac's son, Jacob.

Prayer: O Christ, our heavenly Bridegroom, help us to trust the Word spoken by Your servants, the Word that calls us to be joined to You.  Amen.