Isaac

Just the gist (for small children and others with tiny attention spans):  

Remember that Isaac was almost sacrificed by Abraham on Mount Moriah before the Angel of God stopped Abraham’s hand and a ram was sacrificed instead.  The key points concerning Isaac in this biblical scene are:

  • that Isaac was a begotten son as God, later, will also have a begotten son
  • that he carried the wood of his own sacrifice as God’s Son would later carry the wood of His own sacrifice
  • that Isaac was a willing participant in carrying out God’s will as God’s son would be a willing participant in carrying out God’s will.

Isaac later married a lady named Rebekah and she bore him twin boys named Esau and Jacob.

For those that can handle just a bit more:

            Isaac, as we’ll recall from Day 5, was the only son of the very elderly couple Abraham and Sarah.  He would inherit the covenant promises made by God to Abraham.

            Isaac’s mother Sarah passed away and he was pretty sad about it.  Abraham realized he was getting on in years too and he figured he better get Isaac married off before he also passed away.  He sent a servant back to his home country to find Isaac a wife because he didn’t want him marrying a local girl (a Canaanite).

He said to his chief servant, “Put your hand under my thigh and swear by the Lord that you will not let my son marry from the daughters of the Canaanites but will go back to my country and find him a wife.”  The hand under thigh thing was not a weird request back then.  It was a totally legit oath gesture.  The one swearing would curse himself with sterility if he didn’t come through with his end of the deal.  It was a precursor to the spit shake.

“Oh, and you can’t take my son with you either.” Abraham added.

“So,” the servant replied, counting off the instructions on his fingers. “You want me to:

  • stick my hand under your thigh 
  • swear to travel to a faraway country 
  • find your son a wife from a group of strangers, but 
  • the perspective groom won’t be present to confirm that I’m not just some creep hanging out, picking up on the ladies 
  • and if I am unsuccessful, I will curse myself with sterility?”

“Yes.”

“Just wanted to make sure,” the servant said and stuck his hand under Abraham’s thigh. #truestory (Genesis 24: 2-9)

The servant journeyed to Abraham’s land of origin, found Rebekah hanging out by a well (wells were Old Testament Match.com) and she agreed to go back to Canaan with him to marry Isaac.  

Isaac was praying in a field when he saw the caravan.  The servant told Isaac all that had gone down and Isaac, having had weirder things happen in his life, took the lovely Rebekah to be his wife.

Seeing his Isaac settled and married, Abraham died at the age of 175.  Many mourners at his funeral were reported to have said, “He was too young!”

Unfortunately, Rebekah was barren.  Isaac prayed for her and…

Barren Lady Gets a Baby:  Rebekah became pregnant with twins.

However, lacking sonogram technology, she did not know this and asked God, “What is going on in there?”

God replied, “Two nations are in your womb,

            And two peoples, born of you, shall be divided;

            The one shall be stronger than the other,

            The elder shall serve the younger.” (Gen 25: 23)

Which is Bible talk for: “You’ve got twins in there.  They’re fighting for first born status and the younger of the two will eventually win.”

In the Ancient Near East, first born sons got all the perks so it could cause some contention between twins in utero.

When Rebekah gave birth, it turned out God wasn’t kidding.  She bore twin boys and named them Esau and Jacob.  Jacob came out second, but was grasping Esau’s heel, foreshadowing his supplanting his slightly older brother of his birthright.

2 thoughts on “Christmas for Beginners – Day 6

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