THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 6-24-12
LESSON TITLE: “BY FAITH ISAAC…”
In Proverbs 17:7 we read, “Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool.” Do we strive to have “excellent” speech?
Welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord’s Day morning. It is always an honor and privilege to have you with us. We are thankful you have chosen to be with us as we commit this time to the things of God.
Today we have the privilege to sing songs of praise and to study from God’s Holy Word. May we each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before Him and according to His Word. Now let’s begin by talking to God through prayer!
This morning we want to begin our songs of praise by singing a song which reminds us of the need we have to make sure our heart is right with God. So, at this time, won’t you join in with the congregation as we sing together, “Is Thy Heart Right With God?”
(SONG # 1)
Have you ever played that game before where you sit in a group and at one end someone whispers something in the ear of the person next to them. Then that person has to whisper what they heard to the next person in line. What happens when you get to the end? You guest it, some crazy sentence comes out that isn’t remotely similar to what you started with.
When I think of this game I think of how important words are in our life. Not only words, but also how we say the words and how they are perceived. As Christians, we must realize how important it is to say what we mean and mean what we say. It really does matter, what we say and how we say it.
Let’s go to the book of Colossians and read from chapter 4, verse 6. There Paul said, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” There are several points made here which I would like to expound on.
First, we see that grace is necessary in proper speech. This would mean that we really think about what we want to say and that we say it in the right way. If we extend grace to another we are striving to do that which is favorable toward them - whether they deserve it or not. Treating others as we wanted to be treated.
The next thing Paul mentions is a speech seasoned with salt. If you are like me, you love salt and probably use too much. But why do we use it? Because it tastes good and enhances the flavor of the food. Well, Paul told the Colossians that their speech should do the same thing. Encourage, enhance and build up - not hurt, harm or tear down. Notice a similar statement made by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers,” 4:29! Again, our speech must be for good and do good!
Finally he stated that our speech must be with consideration of how to answer someone else. Again showing the need to think about what we say or what we are going to say to make sure it is going to accomplish that which is pleasing to God.
Are you using a speech that will honor and glorify God? Do the things you say encourage and help those who hear them? May we all strive more to speak as the oracles of God!
This morning, we will continue with our series called, “But Without Faith It Is Impossible To Please Him!” Our specific topic today is, “By Faith Isaac.” So, please continue with us this morning and after our next song together I will return with this study from God’s Word. Now let’s return to our songs of praise, the name of our next hymn is, “Jesus Calls Us!”
(SONG # 2)
BY RAY SULLINS
Thank you so much for continuing with us this day as we now go to God’s word and consider yet again another lesson from the Bible in relationship to faith and the importance we have to not only know what faith is but to demonstrate faith in our daily lives. So far for several weeks we have had a great discussion from Hebrews 11 not only about what faith is, as we began with. But also some of the ideas concerning faith such as we all must have faith in the creation as is indicated there in the same text. But also we now have began to look at the individuals that are described for us in that great faith chapter or as sometimes is referred to as that great faith “Hall of Fame”. As we think of these characters they certainly are not strange to us for we began in verse 4 with Abel one of the children of Adam and Eve, and we talked together there in verse 5 of Enoch, and then we had a lesson together on Noah in verse 7. After that we also looked last week at Abraham and we studied together concerning oh great father Abraham. A man who is certainly described throughout the Bible not only as having faith but being righteous because of his faith he was one who was accounted as righteous before God. So what a faith he must have had.
As we go throughout this discussion of Abrahams life, certainly then, the next that we come to is Isaac. But really the first introduction that we have to Isaac in Hebrews 11 is found there in verse 17 this is when Abraham was told by God to take his only son Isaac and then in verse 18 we learn that he was told to take Isaac and to offer him as a sacrifice. Then we find that this was the same Isaac that God had said is through the seed of Isaac that I will bless you and all of your descendants will come. And so certainly Abraham here might have wondered or we might feel would have questioned God, “Why? Why would I do such a thing?” But it doesn’t seem to be true at all. In fact what we really find about the faith of Abraham is that he was willing by faith to do what God said not because he questioned God but because he immediately determined verse 19 of Hebrews 11 that “God was able to raise him up…” Who? Isaac. That he could bring him back form the dead if need be to fulfill the promise that he had already given to Abraham, that it was through his seed and specifically Isaac that all the nations of the Earth would be blessed.
All that being said then the next verse 20, then says, “By faith Isaac…” By faith Isaac what? “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.” Basically, that short sentence and phrase is all that it really specifies about the man Isaac itself in the great faith chapter. In fact if we compare it to many of the other discussions, even that of his son, there is not as much information given about the faith of Isaac as many others. However, if you’ll notice he still uses the same terminology about this great patriarch. He says, “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob…” So what does that mean? Well it means if we go all the way back, as you even learn some last week about Abraham to that great promise in Genesis 12 and as you read on from that point, we find that it was told to him that it was through his seed again. Through his seed, and this again would be Isaac, that all the nations of the earth would be blessed and that Abraham would have descendants as a multitude or even the sands on the seashore or even the stars of the Heaven’s. Now that being the case it is this Isaac then who had to continue on this great work that God had really determined for this family to accomplish to do those things that God had really set in order from the very beginning. So Isaac was the son of promise, he was the chosen son. I might also remind you that Abraham had, had a son by the handmaid Ishmael that certainly was not worthy to be that heir of promise. But Isaac was the true heir of promise, the son of Abraham and Sarah. And so therefore it was this Isaac who would not only receive the promise as the legitimate heir but that would carry on the promise of God, and through his seed would continue to implement God’s plan in blessing the earth through this precious seed.
What’s beautiful is that we read in texts much later, texts such as Galatians 3, that if this same man Abraham who really gives us the seed that is Christ. So then we say Abraham, and we say Isaac, and then we say Jacob so we follow that lineage. That same lineage by the way that you find in Matthew 1, that if you look there in the beginning it not only says that Jesus is the son of David but also it says was the son of Abraham and then it says and Abraham begot Isaac and Isaac Jacob and so on and so forth. So that’s the depth or the important aspect or concept that Hebrews 11 is trying to impose and show here. These men were all men of faith who carried this promise Abraham, Isaac, and then Jacob his other son. And certainly after Jacob we know he had the sons, the twelve sons, and Joseph was among them who also then is mentioned in the great faith chapter.
So to understand more about the story most likely the best place we can go is where we learn about such things in the Pentateuch. Not only in the great historical records of the book of Genesis but also as we even see throughout the old testament other genealogies that also include Isaac as a part of that promise of God. But you might recall with me there around Genesis 21, we not only have the introduction that Abraham and Sarah are told that they will have a child but then Isaac in chapter 21 finally is born. Verse 1 says, “And the Lord visited Sarah…” and so now she conceives and has a child in her old age as the Bible says. We even find that Abraham, as according to God’s plan, circumcises the child verse 4 on the eighth day exactly as God commands. It begins to show you some of those important aspects that really prove faith again but not only that but then we see that after he bore this child that he was one who was brought up in the things of God. The way that we know that again, whether we like it or not, is by looking at some of these stories of Abraham again. Why? Because the man Isaac does not stand alone. The way that we learn about the youth and the youth days and the young life of Isaac is because of what we know in the life of Abraham and also the same is true about Isaac and being the father and grandfather of others in the future stories because really, there are only a few chapters that actually deal with Isaac in the book of Genesis.
So after we see this man Isaac being born the first thing to me that really shows the development of his faith, and to me proves why he was someone who would have chosen such faith or the importance of faith, is that concept that we look at there in chapter 22. And you recall the story where Abraham therefore takes his son, very fitting because in Hebrews 11 we again see this is exactly the same setting where Isaac is introduced to us in the need to go and to sacrifice his only son of promise. But I want you to think about some things that we learn there in Genesis 22. I think it is very significant that Isaac would have seen the faith of his father, the faith that we learned about last week. A man who was willing to not only hear God but to obey God in everything, a man who seemed not to question God, a man as we even look at there in verse 3 and following who after being told by God immediately arises in the morning and prepares himself for a sacrifice. He not only makes the preparation by cutting the wood, he calls his servants who are going to go with him, and they all begin to travel for 3 days journey going to a mountain that God is going to show him, he has not told him yet, but God was going to show him that he might go and do what? Worship God. Who’s seen all this? Isaac. Isaac saw a father who was willing to do whatever God said whenever God said, wherever God said for him to do it, and however God said for him to do it.
That’s very, again, a clearly seen as the story continues. At one point Abraham says to his servants, or those with him to wait here the lad and I are going to go over yonder and worship. And do you remember some of those discussions as he heads over there and they go up into the mountain that God has shown them? Do you remember some of the questions that for instance Isaac says there to Abraham there in verse 7, “But Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, ‘My Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ Then he said, ‘Look the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’” You see that’s what I love about the example here again because the reason Isaac is a man of faith is because he was taught diligently by his father. He not only saw it in his father but he had been told specifically by his father what was required of a man of faith. So what does Isaac say? He didn’t say what are we doing dad, why did you cut the wood, why are we building an altar? He didn’t say those types of things. What he said is here’s the wood, here’s the altar, everything is ready, and I know we need a sacrifice. Then here is the interesting part, the interesting part where is says that Abraham tells him, “…God will provide…” but eventually we know that it is Abraham himself that takes his son and binds his son in verses 9-10 and then lays him on the altar and is ready to kill him with a knife but yet God stops him.
Now back to the faith of Isaac, what type of faith do you learn from a father who is willing to even take your life to fulfill the commandments of God? Boy, what a faith! Why? Because I want you to understand that Abraham loved this only legitimate son more than his own life, you know that as parents and grandparents. And you know that Isaac loved his father being the only legitimate son and the way that he would have been spoiled and cherished no doubt that same way that we do today, was something that would have been fully clear and they would have been aware of in that day. So Isaac must have wondered father why? But can you imagine the many days and the many nights that he reflected on that time remembering what his father had done. Can you imagine those moments when he began to think within his own heart to say, what a faith? What a faith that a father, because later remember that Isaac has his own children Jacob and Esau and we know there that Esau being the elder son is the one that Isaac loved very dearly. Can you imagine the many times that Isaac probably thought what if God asked me to give up Esau or Jacob? What if I was told to do that? Then the love that a father has for his son to do that proves not only an obedience to God, but a love for God, but furthermore a willingness to do whatever God says no matter whether it makes sense, or no matter whether we agree with it, or no matter whether we are unsure about the request.
God always knows what is best, his Will, will always be done, and God the Lord will always provide. Is that not what we learn in the same story? That Abraham learned that. Abraham learned that, his son learned that as there was a ram prepared for them in a thicket that they might take and sacrifice after now he has obeyed everything that the Lord has said. And eventually they leave that place together, his mother dies there in chapter 23, and we eventually find even in chapter 24 the father still loving his son dearly sending his right hand man to go there and to find a wife from his family. You see he wanted the best for him. What is it then that he learned from his father? Even the law of God concerning marriage and whom he should marry. And later in the story of Isaac, with Jacob and Esau, guess what he does to Jacob? Well the very reason that he sends Jacob up to find a proper wife is because he had learned that and been taught by his father and he was a man who loved God, a man of faith, and a man who was willing to stand on those things of his creator.
The final thing I might mention about this man Isaac is certainly he marries as we well know there in chapter 24 and verse 67, this woman called Rebekah. She was a lovely young lady and she was a lady there that stood out amongst other daughters and she was loved and took to be his wife. Then it was through this great blessing that he eventually has these twins Jacob and Esau, that he is able to really use and to accomplish the gift and the promise of the glory of God in trying to make sure that he does what he should and that his children are trained to do what they should do in relationship to fulfilling the promise of faith that God had entrusted them with. You see I think this story teaches us so much not only about being parents but about being children, about being grandchildren. And it shows us the extent that men like Abraham and men like Isaac, how far they were willing to go to make sure that God’s will was accomplished. To make sure that they would prove by faith that they knew God would do whatever it took to accomplish his will through them. To use them each to his purpose but most of all to bless them with the rewards that he had promised. The promised land ultimately for their descendants and as we as well know event the promise of eternal life someday.
(SONG # 3 - “It Is Well With My Soul!”)
Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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Isaac was a great servant of God who followed the example of his father, as well as those faithful who had gone before. What about us, will we do the same? Will we strive to have a faith like those who were proven before God?