Scripture: Genesis 22; 24; & 25
Isaac, in my opinion, is one of the overlooked characters in the scriptures. Not overlooked by scripture, but overlooked by mankind.
Today, I would like us to consider Isaac as a model from which we can build our homes and families. In the life of Isaac, there are three areas that just seem to be illumined that we should also follow in that light. In Isaac, the three areas from which we can model our homes and families are in the areas of Faith, Respect and Spirituality.
Isaac grew up in the home of Abraham and Sarah, two of the all time hall of famers and legends of faith!! (Heb. 11:11). Isaac grew up in the home of older (literally over 100 years of age) people physically and older spiritually. They knew and had experienced the blessings of God in their life.
Isaac witnessed first hand what it is like to have a dad who totally depended upon God and trusted Him. In the famous account of when God asked Abraham to offer his son and only son as a sacrifice, Abraham did not with hold his own son and only son (by faith Ishmael was of the flesh) from God. It is of interest to note that Abraham knew that God would provide as he told the men who were with him, “...stay here..We will worship and then we will come back to you..” Genesis 22:6 NIV.
Abraham knew that God would provide. Isaac, as a young man in this account, also illustrated great faith as he went along with his dad without hesitation. the scriptures state that “they went up together..” (Gen. 22:7) Isaac had been taught the importance and knowledge of sacrificing and worshipping the Lord as he asked where the lamb would come from. Whether Isaac realized before this that he would be the sacrifice is not made clear. It is clear, however, that he went along with his father to offer a sacrifice to God. This may have been the usual, like attending church. It is clear that we have a father and son attending unto spiritual things together. There is no evidence of a struggle, nor is there evidence to suggest that Isaac did not want to participate in this offering. What can be further gleaned from this is Isaac illustrated a submissive heart and a servant’s attitude.
Another important father/son/family characteristic in the life of Isaac is that of having respect or showing honor for others, parents, sister/brother, etc. The biblical principal for children to honor their parents is wide spread (from the Law of Moses Exod. 20:12 to the Apostle Paul Eph. 6:2). Isaac had respect/honor for his parents. Isaac had respect for his father. He could have picked out a wife from the land of Canaan (as his son Esau would do later); rather, he accepted the selection which was made for him by his father Abraham through his servant Eliezer. Some think this was a weakness of Isaac, in that he did not even seek a wife; rather, his father had to send the eldest servant to do the job.
However, I believe it was simply that he had respect for his parents. The record states that he moves south and is next mentioned as of mourning the death of his mom, Sarah. Isaac loved his mom very much. Isaac may be one of the first recorded “mama’s boys” in the Bible. Isaac is found at the well of La-hai-roi (meaning well of life and vision) and is mourning the death of his mom. Isaac brought Rebekah to Sarah’s tent and loved her. It was after this, Isaac is comforted from his mom’s death.
Isaac had respect for his parents. He honored them and he loved them. Isaac had respect for the work of his father, Abraham. Abraham had several wells that the enemy, the Philistines stopped up. Isaac understood the importance of a well that gave water producing life
He could have witnessed the opposition and the strife and just left his father’s wells in the hands of the enemies; rather, Isaac went through strife and conflict and opposition to re-open these wells. Isaac then does establish several new wells. It is this account that I perceive Isaac to show respect for his father and for the family heritage and inheritance. Isaac had great respect for his father Abraham.
The last characteristic in the life of Isaac was that he was spiritually motivated. The example left to him by his father Abraham continued in his own life. As a young man Isaac knew the importance of worship and sacrificing to God (Gen.22:6-7); Isaac also understood the importance of birthright (unlike his sons Esau and Jacob – Gen. 25). Isaac also took the spiritual leadership in his family by being a prayer warrior. The Bible says “that he entreated (prayed) for his wife Rebekah regarding her barrenness” (Gen. 25:21). There is no record of his father praying for Sarah or his son Jacob praying for his wife Rachel. Isaac stands out as one who took his spiritual leadership very seriously. Perhaps Isaac was like Job (whom the Bible refers to as a father-priest, praying on behalf of his family) or like Joshua (“as for me and my house we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24).
Too often I think we let this aspect “slide” in our lives. As fathers or as families, we tend to think or (God forbid) hope that our families will just arrive with spiritual growth and maturation. It does not happen like this.
The man as the head of the home (Eph. 5) must take the leadership and provide for his family with regard to the things of God. The woman must be in submission to her husband (Eph. 5:1) and children must honor/respect their parents.
Charles Spurgeon has stated that when our home functions the way God intended, Angels could walk in and not feel out of their element