Isaac and Rebekah, by Melissa Gibbs
Isaac and Rebekah, Genesis 21:8-24

 

Isaac is the best part of today's reading, but I want to briefly touch on Abraham's treaty with Abimiech. This is the same guy Abraham deceived one chapter back by lying about his marital relationship with Sarah. Abraham has become a prosperous man and must have acquired enough wealth, servants, and land to be deemed worthy of a treaty with a king. Abimilech says to Abraham, "swear to me in God's name that you will never deceive me, my children, or my descendants..." It is no surprise that he would need such reassurance from Abraham given their history. What was noted in one of my books, was the obvious damage that was done to his witness. In Abimilech's eyes, as well as the eyes of the Egyptian Pharoah who had had a similar encounter with Abraham, this "man of God" was a liar. Who knows how that may have impacted the opportunity for these two people groups to trust in the one true God. When we bear the name of Christ, our behavior and character becomes either an attraction or a detraction for those who may be seeking Him. We have to wear it well and endeavor not to give God the "black eye" that Abraham did. Even with his failings, Abraham becomes a mighty man of faith, as God seems pleased to use even the most broken of servants when their hearts are malleable. Mini-devotional...on to apologetics!

Love Isaac's story! Let me follow up my discussion of Abraham's short-comings with an inspired awe for what he does next. After he is told to sacrifice Isaac, the text says that Abraham "got up early" to make preparations. It is amazing enough that he was even compliant, much less that he got up early to obey God in this way. This is evidence of how far his trust in God has come, from the beginning of his journey when he felt he needed to lie to kings to protect himself and sleep with a servant girl when God wasn't making good on his promise. As he ascends the mountain with Isaac and his servants, he tells them "the boy and I will travel a little further and then we will come right back". He knew God's heart well enough to know that He wouldn't really take his son. God had made a covenant with Abraham that was dependent upon Isaac continuing his lineage. I don't know what he thought was going to happen, but it must have made him terribly nervous (as it does us when we have to trust God's goodness in the face of some difficulty). And how about Isaac??!!! He is certainly old enough to understand what is happening. He knows they do not have an animal for the sacrifice. And he continues on in obedience. Did you notice that he carried the wood for the sacrifice on his own shoulders? Know anyone else who carried wood on their own shoulders for a sacrifice?

Fast-forward to Isaac's adulthood and the search for his wife. Talk about a match made in Heaven! As obedient as Isaac is, he meets his equal in Rebekah. When she is asked, on a moment's notice, to leave her family and her entire life to go with a complete stranger in order to marry a complete stranger, never to see her family again...her reply is "Yes, I will go." God can definitely build a nation out of this couple. The text says that Isaac loved Rebekah deeply, and he is the only one of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) to be monogamous. He's my new favorite...

Tomorrow's reading: Genesis 25:1-26

About Melissa Gibbs:

 

Melissa is the mother of four boys and the wife of her junior high sweetheart, JD.  He is the President of Joe Gibbs Racing and the son of NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs.  JD and Melissa have been married 16 years and are actively involved with Young Life, Motor Racing Outreach, their church, and other ministries.  Their youngest son Taylor is nearing completion of a 3 year treatment protocol for leukemia, which has been a powerful faith walk for their family.  Since his diagnosis, Melissa has been called upon to share their family's testimony with many local churches. Much of her energy is now focused on a huge festival planned for mid May in celebration of Taylor's victory over leukemia and in effort to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer.  If you'd like to check out what she's up to while not blogging, go to www.finishlinefestival.com.

 

Visit Melissa at http://chronologicalbiblein2010.blogspot.com/.

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