To Be Like Isaac

Of the three great patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which one lived the longest life? Of those three, who is it that we know the least about?

The answer to both of these questions is Isaac, and he is also the one whose name was never changed.

Of course, Isaac was the son of promise, but as an adult, we don’t see chapter after chapter telling his story, as we do with Abraham and Jacob. Abraham and Jacob went down in history as superstars of a sort, while Isaac just plugged away. Maybe this is because his career was more or less a transition between the age of Abraham and that of Jacob; I’ll leave that for others to figure out.

It would seem that the only things we know about Isaac of any consequence is the story of how he came to be married to Rebekah, the birth of the twin boys, and of his dealings with Abimelech and finally how Jacob got his blessing before he died. He had no great triumphant accomplishments that are mentioned in Genesis, nor did he have any great moral failings mentioned there, but he did leave a legacy, for not only was he the son of promise, but he fathered Jacob, who would come to give his name to the nation of Israel. In all of his dealings that we know about, he was faithful, just and a model of righteousness.

When he married Rebekah, she was apparently not able, to become pregnant, so what did Isaac do? He prayed to God and waited patiently for 20 years for God to intervene, which is quite a contrast to what Abraham did when he decided to help God along by getting involved with Hagar and producing Ishmael, resulting in conflict and war that continues to this very day.

No, Isaac did the right thing instead, and as a result, a nation was born.

I doubt that very many of us will have a career like that of either Abraham or Jacob; few of us will ever have the chance to change the course of history and go down in the annals of sacred history, but all us can be like Isaac. Each of us has the opportunity to leave a legacy of a close relationship with God, can live a godly and upright life, and serve as an example of righteousness, faithfulness and justice, and even though we might not become superstars, we will leave the kind of legacy that builds  the Kingdom.

12 thoughts on “To Be Like Isaac

  1. I hope that I can be like Isaac. Sharing the gospel, living a righteous life and teaching my children and those around me about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And thanks for posting this. My father used to remark, before his death earlier this year, it’s all in the dash. When he explained what he meant, same as you have described, I prayed my “dash” would leave a legacy that honored God and others.

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  2. I kind of see Isaac as an everyman, a commoner, a “regular schmoo” like. That many of us connect to. Perhaps a little bit of a George Bailey at this time of year? Maybe he shows faith means time? Beautiful photos by the way…

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  3. Oh, Don!! This is huge! In a culture rife with superstar syndrome (even within the church), in a mindset where bigger is somehow always better (especially within the church), your comments are water for dehydrated souls! That whole “make it your aim to lead a quiet life” is somehow overlooked as less than living. And I have been guilty. (I am, after all, an American….) Thank you. Thank you.

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