Summary: Though Abraham is declared to be the "father of many nations" by the LORD, his son Isaac is worth investigating this Father’s Day -- he was a man of faith: born a son of promise, and serving as an exquisite illustration of God’s destiny.
(What about Isaac?)
Isaac -- Son of Promise, and a Father of God’s Destiny
Given at Glorious King Jesus, 6/19/11, Sterling C. Franklin
Father’s Day Message
3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:
4 "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
5 "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
6 "I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
7 "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
Our Scripture reading was the LORD’s declaration to Abraham that he would be the "father of many nations," even though it required an absolute miracle to bring about. Abraham was a man of God’s destiny, and his son Isaac was no different. God had a purpose -- ultimately, through them, He would provide the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would be a sacrifice for the sins of the world, and who would redeem those who put their faith in Him.
You may notice that not all that much is said about Isaac in the narrative, especially in comparison to his father. The ’bookends’ of the Patriarchs in Genesis are Abraham and Joseph, and yet we have throughout the Hebrew Bible (aka Old Testament) the phrase:
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
Isaac has a lot of redeeming qualities, and this Father’s Day, I think it’s worth exploring some of who this man of God was, and it’s worth being encouraged by his life of faith. What an illustration of the destiny of God! Before we discuss further, let’s pray.
Miraculous birth --
God told Abram to leave his home land and go toward Canaan, the land the LORD would show him. Abram obeyed. Also in this promise was that the LORD told Abram that he would be a "Great Nation"
At that time, Abram/Abraham did not have a natural child. In Genesis 15, the LORD speaks to him again, possibly when he was around 85 years old, and the LORD tells him that he would bear a natural child, and his descendants would be as the stars in the sky -- numerous and essentially uncountable. Abraham believed, and his faith pleased God.
Abraham was indeed the ’father of many nations,’ and his descendants are extremely numerous today.
Abraham was not a perfect man, either, but he was a man of faith. He did go the way of having a child with his concubine instead of Sarah (as the Lord had the child of promise coming from Abraham and Sarah), but even so, God granted Abraham the blessing of seeing his son Ishmael grow up completely into his teenage years (Genesis 16 end -> Genesis 17).
17:19 - "No" meaning? It’s literally "Verily" in the text, emphasizing that the LORD "indeed" wants the child of promise coming from the womb of Sarah. Ishmael was not the son of promise according to the LORD.
Chapter 21 - We see that God is faithful -- He grants them the son of promise, despite Abraham being 100 and Sarah about 90 years old. Talk about a miracle!
Interestingly, when the ’three men’ who were stated to be the LORD in Genesis 18 gave Abraham a specific time in which he’d have a son with Sarah. They did indeed conceive in that time frame.
Sometimes the LORD does reveal things to come, and with specific timing. We should hold this word in our hearts today, testing out of faithfulness, yet not skepticism.
Isaac - Child of promise
Genesis 22 - formative time -- Isaac sees his father Abraham obey God even to the point of sacrificing his own son (Isaac himself!). Killing Isaac was not the Lord’s plan, but the obedience shown must have had an amazing impact on Isaac’s life.
Genesis 22:8 - And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.
Hmm…a lamb sacrifice. Do you know that Jesus was sacrificed on a mountain in the same vicinity? It’s not certain if this mount in the region of Moriah was the same one, but it was at the very least very close if not it. This event is told as a foreshadowing to Jesus -- God’s "son of promise" is sacrificed, and yet the real sacrifice would come with Jesus, outside of whom there is no everlasting hope.
So let’s go through a brief survey of the profile of Isaac himself. Isaac had a very good father who had extreme favor from the LORD. What type of man did he become?