December 15, 2021
Thank you for praying this Wednesday for revival and for our prodigals.
You may be a parent who has prayed for a wayward child for many years; don’t give up! You may be a person with a friend who has turned away from their God; continue to pursue them with love! You may be a church leader who is disappointed in the outcome of someone in whom you have invested much time; keep reaching out!
Or possibly you have noticed your own affection toward God cooling off. Allow Him to draw you close again.
It is good to remind ourselves that through all the hardships and difficulties of life, our God is over all (Ephesians 1:11).
It is important to understand that even when we sin, fail, or make mistakes, God can always bring good out of bad. His plan cannot be thwarted. The apostle Paul said, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The story of Isaac is a case in point. He loved the Lord. He followed his God. He trusted Him for the future of his family.
Isaac loved Esau because he was a good hunter, and Rebekah loved Jacob because he was a homebody. Instead of valuing the personalities and interests of each boy and loving them both equally, Isaac and Rebecca allowed favoritism to drive them apart.
At the end of his days when his eyesight was gone and Isaac performed the customary task of officially blessing sons, everything went horribly wrong! Or so it seemed. Thankfully, despite deception and conniving, God’s plan was still moving forward on schedule.
In the ancient Hebraic culture, the primary blessing of the father was a leadership blessing that normally would go to the firstborn, with a secondary blessing to the younger. And this was what Isaac was anticipating with joy, but when the sun was setting at the close of this day of blessing, the opposite had occurred. Jacob, the younger, received the primary blessing, and Esau the lesser blessing.
Despite the deceptive way in which Rebekah and Jacob had tricked Isaac, it was God’s intention for Jacob to receive this blessing. Although God never condones deception and sin, it was in the plan of God for Jacob to be blessed with the blessing of the firstborn. God had promised this at his birth. “The one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23), meaning that Esau would serve Jacob.
When God gives His commendation of Isaac, the patriarch, He says, “By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau” (Hebrews 11:20).
What Isaac did in blessing his sons was called by God an act of faith! If you read the story in Genesis 27, you learn that Isaac experienced uncertainty when Jacob came in to receive the blessing. Jacob had goat skins strapped to his arms and neck and wore the clothes of his brother to make it seem as if he were Esau. It was a little harder to disguise his voice and Isaac detected this (Genesis 27:22).
Without his eyesight to discern whether it was Esau or Jacob, Isaac had to depend upon his God, and this he did. He proceeded to give the blessing to Jacob. When Esau returned from hunting to get his blessing, he was too late to receive the blessing of the firstborn. It was already given to Jacob. Esau had to receive a lesser blessing.
It wasn’t what Isaac wanted. It wasn’t what Isaac intended. But it was what God had purposed. While Isaac had uncertainty on a human level, he knew that God was over all and in control. The Bible says that Isaac acted in faith.
While there are disturbing aspects to the storyline, this point should be a source of encouragement to us. There are times when we sin against our God and this can cause immeasurable heartache and pain. But even when this happens, all is not lost. God is not crippled by our sin. He is able to bring good from bad.
Like Isaac, there are times when we may feel uncertain about the course we are taking, because of human weakness or limitations, but if we trust in our God, He is able to accomplish His will.
Your situation presently may be filled with darkness. Because of many unknowns, your pathway forward may be obscure. Possibly, you are wondering if God can still bless your family after blunders you have made.
Take heart. The story of Isaac reminds us all that God can and will work for our good, despite these things. After all, He is God, and He loves you!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel