While recently thinking on the generational transfer of faith, I was drawn to a study of the early Patriarchs of Israel: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. A study of their lives and faith witnesses strange parallels to our lives as Christians today. Let me share just a few thoughts for your consideration.
Abraham is known as the Father of Faith. Called by God, he obediently left all that he knew and began a life-long journey to follow the leadership of God. A promise of a future better than he could imagine was what started it all and kept him going in every situation. Abraham experienced the good and the bad. He made some serious mistakes. But his mind was set on hearing and obeying God: even when he seemed too old to have a son; even when the miracle son was to become the sacrifice; even when.you can add other occasions I’m sure. Abraham heard God speak, he believed what God said, and he acted on it throughout his lifetime.
How often do you think he was tempted to totally abandon the promise when the times were tough? What if he had? What is God calling you to do?
Isaac had a Godly heritage. His dad had a personal relationship with God and knew the blessings that it brought. Isaac actually inherited both the promise and blessings God had given his dad. We read how he sought God in prayer when his wife couldn’t have children, appealing to God to fulfill the promise He had made to his father Abraham. We then read how God appeared to him and extended the promise to him, causing him to build an altar of worship to God. But, Isaac’s only recorded “name to fame” in spiritual service to God was when his dad took him as a child and, in obedience to God, placed him on an altar for sacrifice.
I wonder how he felt.
Some might say the experience scarred him for life. I don’t think so. Miraculous provisions of God have a way of positively impacting children. Isaac saw God’s faithfulness to keep his promise first-hand. But it seems that as he grew older he became more concerned about his own loves than the will of God. In Genesis 25 we find that he was intent on blessing his son Esau in spite of the fact that God had clearly pointed to Jacob as the one to be blessed.
What happened to cause Isaac to desire and even pursue something other than God’s will? What might have been different in Esau’s life if Isaac had been in agreement with God as he raised his sons? We can apply the same question to Jacob. Is there any application here for you?
Jacob: He knew the promises and blessings of God. He also knew disagreement between his parents and witnessed their manipulation and deception. This same spirit controlled his relationship with his brother and eventually spread to his relationship with his parents and then his in-laws. He spent much of his life running from his problems and trying to get a benefit for himself. It wasn’t until he came face-to-face with his “issues” one night as he wrestled with God (and lost) that he found release and peace and a new name (life and reputation).
Regardless of his past and his upbringing, Jacob had to come to terms with what he had allowed in his own life. He, too, had made choices with consequence. But he found freedom and peace when he recognized it was God who was wrestling him to the ground. He took advantage of this personal encounter to seek God’s personal healing and blessing in his own life, and in losing, he won. Is there any application here for you? God wants to fulfill His promise in every life ? even yours and mine. Is there any battle going on in you with God over “issues” in your life? Let Him win!
RENEWANATION is committed to offering every child a Christian worldview. The message of a Christian worldview is that of the Bible. It is one that clearly states God’s love and compassion for all people, including you and me. Consider these statements:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“…God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.” Acts 3:26
“…know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you.” I Chronicles 28:9
But that is not all. A Biblical worldview builds a foundation for life that comes from the Word of God. This foundation enables those who are willing to follow, like Abraham, a life of promise and blessing. But perhaps the most significant fact to consider is that this promise and blessing and worldview can be passed on for the next generation to embrace. Pass it on!