The Lord often referred to Himself as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Isaac was right in the middle of the “big three” patriarchs that were chosen by God to begin the Jewish nation of Israel. More is said about Abraham and Jacob, but Isaac quietly lived longer than either his father or his son. Isaac lives 180 years, and his life is covered in Genesis 17-35, yet he is only mentioned in one verse in the Hall of Faith:
Heb 11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
Let’s look at 3 aspects of his faith from Genesis and Hebrews.
Isaac was Wedded by Faith
Genesis 24 tells the amazing story of how Isaac got a wife. Abraham was adamant that Isaac was not to marry a daughter of the pagan Canaanites and so he sent his eldest and most-trusted servant to his relatives in Mesopotamia. There a virgin would be found who would believe in the one, true God, and be the loving bride of Isaac.
Scripture describes in great detail how this devoted servant went on this long journey, praying God would make clear which young lady would be the chosen bride. God honored the careful planning of Abraham and the prayerful searching of his trusted servant, and the ambitious and beautiful Rebekah was found. She agreed to go back to Canaan with Abraham’s servant to become the wife of Isaac. The Bible indicates that all the while, Isaac was praying, watching, and waiting.
Gen. 24:63And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening, and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and there the camels were coming.
That’s a good approach for any young man who wants a wife — meditate, pray, wait, and watch for the Lord to bring that special woman.
So by faith, Isaac accepted God’s way, His will, and the woman God had chosen for him.
Genesis 24:66-67 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
Isaac was wedded by faith, and he was the only one of the patriarchs that had only one wife for life.
Isaac Made Wells By Faith
Like his father Abraham, Isaac was a pilgrim, a tent-dweller, and a herdsman. But Isaac was especially known something else. Hew was a well-digger, which takes research, hard work, and faith!
Isaac Re-dug Old Wells
Gen. 26:18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham…”
The pagan Philistines did not like the Jewish nomads and tried to run them out of the land. But Isaac was not easily deterred. He remembered where his father Abraham had dug wells for their family and livestock. He found f those old wells, dug them again, and provided water to sustain his people.
Isaac Reclaimed Old Wells
Heb 26: 18b He called them [the re-dug wells] by the names which his father had called them.
Isaac not only reclaimed those old wells, making them operational again, he also renamed them exactly what his father Abraham had named them.
Isaac Reproduced New Wells
Gen 26:19-22 Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of running water there…then they dug another well…and he moved from there and dug another well…so he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, “for now the Lord has made room for us and we shall be fruitful in the land.”
Isaac wasn’t satisfied just to re-dig old wells. He also dug new wells to help provide for his growing family and nation. By application, we also cannot keep living on our father’s wells or spiritual wellbeing. We must also seek to grow and dig new wells of our own, so we can stay fresh in our spiritual walk, and continue in progressive sanctification, growing in Christlikeness.
Isaac Made a Living Will By Faith
Heb. 11:20 By Faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
Do you remember this story? This was not a blissful event where Isaac’s 2 boys, Jacob and Esau, came to their father together. They did not receive the proclamation of a living trust where they could coexist in mutual harmony and happiness for the rest of their lives.
Gen. 27:19-40 tells the story of how Jacob deceived Isaac and stole the blessing from his elder brother, Esau. When Isaac found out, he did not try to rescind the blessing. Instead, by faith, Isaac accepted God’s sovereign will for his sons. He gave Esau a blessing, but gave Jacob the blessing of the firstborn, and thus fulfilled God’s plan in building His chosen people through the divinely-ordered ancestry of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob would go on to have 12 sons, who would become heads of the 12 tribes of the nation of Israel.
Being Like Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob
Even though Isaac doesn’t get as much “press” in the Hall of Faith, he was a man of great faith and he fulfilled a crucial role in the building of the Jewish nation
Perhaps you feel like more of an Isaac than an Abraham or Jacob. Maybe you work unnoticed in the background instead of being visible and with a public platform. It’s OK to be who and what God made you to be. We’re not all alike, and that’s good! It’s not about being recognized. It’s about bringing glory to God by being faithful.
“Find Us Faithful” by Steve Green(1988)
We’re pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road,
and those who’ve gone before us line the way,
cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary,
their lives a stirring testimony to God’s sustaining grace.
Read all the articles in our Hebrews 11 series:
- Who are Heaven’s Heroes in God’s Hall of Faith?
- Abel, Enoch, and Noah in the Hall of Faith (Heb 11)
- Abraham in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Isaac in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Jacob in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Joseph in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Amram and Jochebed in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Joshua and Rahab in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- The Judges in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Samuel and David in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- check back for more!
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