The last time we saw Abraham he was preparing the next generation to be able to take over the family after his death. But guess what, he was going to live another 35 years! And not only that, he’d get married again and father 6 more kids! Let’s look at:
I. Abraham’s final chapter
[Read Genesis 25:1-10.]
So Abraham’s grand life on the earth was over. But even in this final chapter we can see some very important things.
1. Abraham’s descendants were promised by God.
[Read Genesis 17:4.]
2. Abraham gifts secured Isaac receiving the covenant.
3. Abraham inherited eternal life; “gathered to his people”.
[Read Matthew 8:11.]
4. Abraham’s two eldest sons back together for a short time.
But with Ishmael being back on the scene there was the chance that he might now try
and rival his younger brother Isaac for his father’s inheritance. So God made it clear that the covenant was going through Isaac just as He planned all along.
[Read Genesis 25:11.]
But even though Ishmael didn’t receive the covenant, he wasn’t forgotten. So we see:
II. Ishmael’s generations
[Read Genesis 25:12-18.]
When we look at the generations of Ishmael we again see God’s prophecies coming true.
1. God’s promise to Hagar that Ishmael’s and Isaac’s families will live in conflict.
[Read Genesis 16:12.]
2. God’s promise to Abraham that Ishmael will have 12 nations come from his line.
[Read Genesis 17:20-21.]
“My covenant I will establish through Isaac.” So let’s look at:
III. Isaac’s generations
In the last part of chapter twenty five we see the early years of Isaac and Rebekah and their two sons Jacob and Esau. But through the events recorded here we’ll get some insight into the character and mindset of these four people. Let’s first look at Mom and Dad.
1. Isaac and Rebekah depend on God
[Read Genesis 25:19-21.]
For the first twenty years of their marriage Rebekah couldn’t have a baby. As you know, this is an incredibly hard thing to deal with – especially in the ancient culture where a woman’s worth is often associated with having babies to build the family. But Isaac loved his wife and prayed on her behalf that she would have a baby. He obviously prayed the right prayer in faith because the Lord answered his prayer and Rebekah conceived. Isaac depended on God. Rebekah depended on God as well.
[Read Genesis 25:22.]
When her pregnancy wasn’t going well she went to the Lord as well. I’m sure it was a scary thing for her. She finally gets pregnant after twenty years but the babied inside her are playing football all the time. What a responsibility a woman has who carries a baby inside of her. But when she was troubled she went directly to the Lord with her concerns.
Now this part of the story should sound familiar by contrast. Remember, Isaac’s parents went through the very same thing. For the first ten years of their marriage Sarah couldn’t have a baby. But instead of trusting the Lord they took matters into their own hand and Abraham had Isaac’s brother through a handmaid.
I can’t help but think that Isaac and Rebekah learned from their parent’s mistakes and decided to depend on God instead of themselves. And even though they waited twice as long as Abraham and Sarah, they stayed strong and simply waited on God to act.
But these two boys wrestling inside of Rebekah’s womb was a foreshadow of things to come, because these two brothers would be on different life paths right from the start.
2. Esau and Jacob differ from one another
[Read Genesis 25:23-28.]
servant to leader of
Isaac’s favorite Rebekah’s favorite
Emotional, earthly minded calculated, spiritually minded
These two guys couldn’t have been more different. And I’m sure that there was lots of conflict between these two kids as they grew up. Especially since the parents had their favorites. (Kids often pick up on these things and end up resenting the other kid for it.)
But their differences was all a part of God’s sovereign plan. Remember, God will providentially accomplish His will upon the earth.
[Read Romans 9:10-16.]
Paul was trying to let the Jews know that they couldn’t merit the grace of God just because they were Israelites. God had decided to show the nation grace by choosing them to bring forth the covenant. He decides based on His will, not our works.
In the same sense, He decided that Jacob would be the one through whom the nation of Israel would come. Could God have chosen Esau to build Israel? Sure He could have. But for reasons only known to Him He chose to use Jacob in this historic task.