After Abraham, we see Isaac’s life recorded in scriptures. Just like the events in the life of Abraham showcased good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, so also events in the life of Isaac illustrates the salvation plan of God. There is no character in the Old Testament, which is more known among Christians as the prototype of Savior, than young Isaac being led to be sacrificed by his Father. Let us meditate on events mentioned in scripture concerning the life of Isaac.
Isaac – Heir of Abraham
A son born to the king, makes him legal heir to father’s throne, just because of his birth. Similarly, the birth of Isaac made sure that he is the heir of promises made to Abraham. Allow me to expound this a little more.
This was an unconditional promise (See examples of conditional promises in Deut 7:12, 28:2). This particular promise never depended on the behaviour of Abraham or his progeny. It was a promise based on God’s faithfulness alone (cf. Rom 3:3-4). God’s faithfulness means God had to be true to his words and change not in the future, – if this promise to Abraham had to be fulfilled! This alone was required. Nothing more! Abraham’s descendants contributed nothing to the fulfillment of the inheritance promised to them.
We are the children of Abraham by faith in Jesus (Gal 3:26), just like Isaac became the son of promise to Abraham. Abraham knew he was promised heavenly Canaan, and he was looking for a city, not on earth, but a city whose builder and maker is God (Heb 11:8-10). So the message is simply that God himself was promising heavenly city to Abraham’s descendants, based on his own faithfulness, and did not mention any condition to grant heavenly city to descendants of Abraham. Is it not this gospel?
We don’t have to earn heaven, Zion or Jerusalem by hard labour, hard rules & regulations or disciplined life of consecration. It is a gift. It is an inheritance! There was no law set on tables of stone for Isaac, that if he obeyed he would get promised inheritance or if he failed he would not get it. If this would have been the case, then this would not be called inheritance but as a reward of law.
For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: God gave Abraham a promise, not law to be obeyed Galatians 3:18 (Paraphrased) Law was introduced much later for a time period (Gal 3:19).
Note: TPM makes people set their gaze on what happened in the temporary period of law. They ensure people focus on children of Israel in the wilderness, and their failure to inherit the land. This is evident from the comments of Koilmani Stephen Daniel. Galatians 3 mentions that the law was for a temporary time. If you make events occurring in a temporary time period as foundational to reality then you err.
So the conclusion is that the promise made to Abraham, about the heavenly city (Heb 11), and to his descendants, was to be realized through inheritance. Not by law! Not by rules – obedience or failure to which, would grant or remove them from the promise. Like Isaac, you only need to be born. You need a new birth experience! You then become the legal heir of the heavenly land. That’s the beauty of inheritance. This is the gospel. I hope you will realize the difference in the gospel and false gospel by the episode of Isaac’s birth.
All of us are aware of Isaac’s childhood persecution by Ishmael. It is the prophecy of the persecution of spiritual children in the hands of earthly children. It is clearly revealed in the book of Galatians (Gal 4:29). Yet we observe how TPM has brainwashed people to believe that they are going to escape tribulation by the secret rapture.
Isaac’s offering up as a sacrifice
Isaac’s offering up as a sacrifice to God, as we said earlier is the most renowned prototype example of sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. When Isaac was being led to slaughter, he asked his father, “We have fire and wood, but where is the lamb for burnt offering (Gen 22:7)?,” then Abraham’s response, that God will provide the lamb for himself, was stark and vivid pointer to Jesus as the lamb of God, which God himself provided. Two thousand years later, John the Baptist reminded us about this lamb when he showed us Jesus (John 1:29,36) – Behold the Lamb of God. It appears that ages and centuries came together in minutes. One hand we have Isaac asking “fire and wood, but where is the lamb” and we read John answering “Behold the lamb of God” looking at Jesus. Amazing! Isn’t it?
Then we read about Isaac’s marriage with Rebecca. Again, we need no further endeavours to realize the truth which we know by our spiritual instincts that ‘Isaac’s marriage with Rebecca’, is a type of marriage of Christ and church. Like Abraham requested Eliezer to seek a wife for his son Isaac from Abraham’s own kin, so also Church is nothing but rib taken out of the rib of Last Adam. We are all resurrected to a new man along with the resurrection of Christ (Rom 6). As Isaac was seen meditating in fields when Rebecca arrived (Gen 24:63), so is Jesus sitting at the right hand of God and interceding with the Father for his bride.
Encounter with Abimelech
Isaac’s encounter with Abimelech appears to be a reenactment of Abraham’s story in Egypt. There is a clear repeating pattern showcased to readers. As Abraham lied to Pharaoh, that Sarah his wife is his sister, so does Isaac lie to Abimelech, that Rebecca his wife is his sister (Gen 12:18-19, 20:9-10, 26:9). In both cases, kings set their eyes on brides. God preserves the virginity of brides from being defiled, threatens kings (Gen 12:17-20, 20:7, 26:10-11), and rescues brides eventually. The pattern of the lie, the bride in enslavement, preserving her chastity, and ultimate redemption, cannot be mistaken for coincidence. It is a clear manifestation of God as the grand designer weaving gospel story in the lives of his chosen vessels in sacred pages. Neither Abraham nor Isaac nor any biblical character ever knew that whatever was occurring in their lives was actually a work of God’s finger, working out a gospel story on a larger scale.
See the artwork video below.
From one angle it is a collection of various objects, but from another angle, it makes up a beautiful portrait intended by the designer. So also individual stories and events in the bible have their individual identities, but on a larger scale, they are predestinated by God to form the image of his son.
And we know that all things work together for good to them ….. to be conformed to the image of his Son….. (Rom 8:28,29).
Individual stories and events in the life of Abraham, Isaac and all biblical records are similar in nature. If God opens our eyes, we should be thankful to him for making us aware of his great handiwork and henceforth we should not seek in God’s handiwork that which God has not intended.
I would like to end this by reiterating that there is no character in the Old Testament, which is more clearly known among Christians, as the prototype of Savior, than young Isaac. Here is the Christocentric summary of the life of Isaac.
|Son of Promise (Gen 15:4)||Son of Promise (Luke 1:31,2:6-7)|
|Beloved of his Father (Gen 22:2)||Beloved of his Father (Matthew 3:17)|
|Sacrificed on a hill (Gen 22:2)||Sacrificed on a mount (Matt 27:33)|
|Carries wood on his back (Gen 22:6)||Carries a wooden cross on his back (Jn. 19:17)|
|Obedient till death (Gen 22:9-11)||Obedient till death (Philippians 2:8)|
|On the ‘third day,’ Abraham got his son alive (Gen 22:4). All three days he was as though dead to him||On the ‘third day’ Jesus arose from the dead.|
|Was praying in the field before Rebecca arrived (Gen 24:63)||Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God and Expecting the time of his receiving his bride|