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The Cloud of Witnesses

Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible



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Lesson 6: Isaac – The Faithful Man


Genesis 27:18-40.

Spiritually Astute Father

I guess we could look at Isaac’s life and feel that although it started so well it ended in tragedy with Isaac being betrayed by both Rebekah and Jacob. Yet, if we stopped there we would be mistaken.

Never forget God is pleased to call Himself – The God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. God saw Isaac’s heart and gave him his true desire – to continue the outworking of the promise given to his father Abraham and confirmed to him at the time of the famine… I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on the earth will be blessed.

He wanted nothing more than to impart his spiritual blessing to the one who would be the leader of the next and subsequent generations. He was not primarily wanting a meal of venison – he wanted to mark a very significant day by creating an unforgettable atmosphere, which would stick in his son’s memory forever.

Whilst this was not the moment of his departure from this life, the time had come for him to release his son into the role for which God had brought him into this world. He was a grown man and would from that moment on be considered the definite heir-apparent.

The normal course of events would be that he would get a wife and establish himself and his own dynasty, and consequently the intercourse between father and son would diminish and become spasmodic and increasingly rare.

Before that took place, Isaac wanted to establish in his heir’s mind the importance of who he was in God. He was to be the next in line to the promises of God and he wanted to pass that blessing on personally and specifically to him.

He had imparted all he knew by being a role model every day, but there was one last thing to do. He wanted to completely discharge his duty to his heir, knowing from that moment on the baton had been passed on successfully, and God would honour that action so he, Isaac, could rest confident in the knowledge that God would do the rest.

Oh how thrilled he would have been to have completed the task. As we read the blessing again, we see that he didn’t skimp, did he? It’s of little surprise that when Esau eventually returned and asked for the blessing, Isaac had to say – there’s nothing left – I gave Jacob everything.

We find that hard to understand in the West, as we would just repeat what we had said before; but for a Jew, words are like arrows – once they have left their mouth, they go to reach their target.

Yes, Isaac blessed Jacob with everything – the full spiritual blessing. And with that Isaac completed his role in life and successfully passed on the baton to the next generation. It’s an example for us all and our children to follow.

Isaac would say to us today...

There is more to life than what you see in front of you. Yes, include those things in your Will but never forget you have a responsibility to pass on a spiritual heritage to your children, whilst at the same time committing them to God’s omnipotent and omnipresent care.


Father, help us to realise the significance of a Godly spiritual heritage. Help me model true Christianity to my children so they realise they too need a personal and vibrant relationship with Jesus. And help me to bless them spiritually whilst releasing them to Your loving care. Amen.

Additional readings

Genesis 26:1-6; Genesis 48:11-22; 2 Timothy 2:1-7.


Why is it important to bless our children?

What spiritual heritage will you pass on to your children?

How and when should we release our children to God’s care?

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