Abraham has died, and the patriarchal mantle has been passed on to Isaac. What a tremendous responsibility! The LORD had been preparing him; surely, Isaac had heard from his father copious details of the LORD’s numerous appearances to make Himself and His covenant known. Isaac was there, after all, when the LORD called to Abraham and said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me,” (Genesis 22:12).
Isaac witnessed the substitute offering provided on the Mount of Provision (Genesis 22:13). And again Isaac heard the LORD confirm His promise to Abraham, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice,” (Genesis 22:16-18).
But a second-hand encounter with the God of Abraham is not sufficient. Isaac needed to experience the LORD himself.
Consider Him, the God of Abraham
The God of Abraham appeared to confirm His covenant.
“The Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you.3 Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws,’” (26:2-5).
The God of Abraham appeared to encourage Isaac’s faith.
“The Lord appeared to him the same night and said,
‘I am the God of your father Abraham;
Do not fear, for I am with you.
I will bless you, and multiply your descendants,
For the sake of My servant Abraham.’
25 So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there;” (26:24-2)5.
How are we to respond to the God of Abraham?
- The God of Abraham alone establishes and keeps His covenant; His covenant, not ours. He is encountered and experienced through faith in His truth; His truth, not ours. His New Covenant is established through the sacrificial spilling of Jesus’ blood on the cross,
- “And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood,’ ” (Luke 22:20).
- When we place our faith in His finished work on the cross for our sins, we enter into that New Covenant by faith; His work, not ours. It is His amazing gift!
- “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8).
- It must become our faith, not our parents. Each of us must come into relationship with the God of Abraham on His terms, not ours. Let us be diligent to know and study His truth, so as not to be deceived by the godless and poisonous objections of man.
- “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene…” (2 Timothy 2:15-17).
- The God of Abraham is to be the source of our strength and courage. Lets us be encouraged from the manner in which the God of Abraham dealt with Abraham’s son, Isaac. Unfortunately, Isaac followed his earthly father’s example and chose the path of trickery and deception to counter his fears, (26:7, 9). Some things we absorb from our upbringing are difficult to unlearn, even when blessed with parents of faith. And though God had already appeared to Isaac to confirm His covenant, (26:2-5), the LORD still came again with encouraging grace-filled words,
- “Do not fear, for I am with you,” (26:24).
- Isaac built an altar and called on His name, because he himself encountered the LORD. When we fear and fail, let us be quick to seek Him through confession and the receiving of His forgiveness and cleansing.
- “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).
- With hearts cleansed, we are enabled to encounter Him by faith and embrace His grace-filled presence and provision for strength and courage.
- “Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation,” (Isaiah 12:2).
- “Behold, God is my salvation,