Summary: Like Isaac being called by God to be a witness for Him and passing on the "calling" to Jacob, Christians are also called and are to pass the baton of Good News of Christ.
This picture was during the 2008 Olympic Games in China. What can you say about this picture??
A relay running race is a team event in which you have to pass a baton from one teammate to another in order to finish the race. The US Team dropped the baton and was disqualified from the race.
It has been said that Christianity is only one generation from extinction! In other words, if we Christians today don’t pass the Christian baton properly to the next generation, Christianity on earth will cease to exist. Sounds far fetched? The Book of Revelation tells us that one day, this will happen. Of course God is in control, but God also calls people to “team” with Him to finish the race!
How can we pass the spiritual baton properly to the next generation? The story of the transition from Isaac to Jacob is actually helpful for us today. God chose a people through Abraham and Sarah to be God’s Special Team on earth. This Special Team was called to reveal God and his Good News. God called Abraham and Sarah to be in God’s Good News Team. Abraham passed the “baton” of God’s calling to Isaac. Isaac then passed it to Jacob.
Please open your Bibles to Genesis 28, page…..
Isaac was the one who had the “baton” from God to pass to Jacob. What did Isaac do right?
We note in v1: Isaac called, blessed, and instructed Jacob.
Isaac knew he had to pass the “baton” to someone. But we don’t read God ever directly instructing Isaac to whom the baton should be passed to.
Who was Isaac going to pass the baton to, Esau or Isaac? Remember from Genesis 27, Isaac was ready to give the blessing to Esau, but Rebekah and Jacob tricked Isaac?
Why would Isaac call on Jacob this time around??
Take a look back to the end of Genesis 27…..
Isaac’s wife was grieved about the Canaanite women who Jacob married. This time around, Isaac considered what his wife had to say! Because of his wife’s concern, Isaac called Jacob to bless and instruct him.
And how did Isaac bless the one he was going to pass the “baton” from God to? Isaac prayed for Jacob. Look again at v3-4 with me………….
Isaac prayed for both spiritual and physical blessings for Jacob. Now, there is something significant in v4. Did Isaac pressure Jacob into following God?? Absolutely not! What was Isaac’s prayer request for Jacob in v4??
Isaac prayed for a personal revelation directly from God. You see, God is in control, but he does allow people a free will to choose. Isaac did not force God on Jacob!
Isaac did many right things in this chapter. And before we talk about Jacob, the one who was receiving the baton, let us briefly talk about Esau because God talked about him in v6-9. Did Esau marry those two women to please his parents or to spite them? It could go either way.
But here’s what we can say for sure, Esau never counseled with God or with his parents! If we consider Esau in light of the “team” which God was putting together, did Esau ever desire to be on God’s team??
So far in his life, Esau never showed an interest in being on God’s team!
Now, did Jacob do anything to indicate that he had an interest in receiving the spiritual baton from Isaac? What would you say was the first thing that Jacob did right to receive the spiritual baton that Isaac wanted to pass??
Jacob listened and obeyed Isaac! Jacob did as his father told him to do! Can we say that Jacob now has the baton to run the race for God??
Yes, Jacob heard from his father and he obeyed, but Jacob did not directly hear from God till v13. God spoke to Jacob through a dream. Jacob personally receives the promise directly from God. Jacobs hears, or can we say see, the baton being passed to him.
Can we say that Jacob now has the baton to run the race for God??
The baton from God was still being passed through Isaac to Jacob as God spoke to Jacob. Jacob himself had to grab the baton! Look again with me v16-17…………
Jacob personally realized that God has made a way to heaven. Jacob memorialized the time and the place of this revelation!
Jacob called the place Bethel, which in Hebrew means “house of God”. Jacob then made a vow to God and look again at v22……..
Jacob made a commitment to God with worship by remembering God and giving back to Him. We can now say that Jacob had the baton to run the race for God!
Are you and I running the race for God today?