This chunk of reading is quite a lot to cover in one post, so I’m just going to highlight a few thoughts/observations.
22:6 – I proposed a connection in a previous post between the sacrifice of Isaac and the sacrifice of Jesus, but didn’t include this passage in my comparison. I find it interesting in seeing parallels between the two events, that both Isaac and Jesus carried on their backs the wood that was meant to be the instrument of their sacrifice. How does this relate to Jesus telling us we must “take up our cross” and follow him (Luke 9:23)?
28:12 – Jacob’s ladder is a topic I honestly don’t think I’ve ever studied or heard anyone speak of. Ever. My entire life in church and 4 years getting a double degree in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministry, and not once was this passage expounded upon. After some brief research, I found a common two-fold interpretation of this vision: that the ladder, with God’s presence at the top and the angels ascending and descending, is a comfort to Jacob as a representation of God’s providence and the ministering of the angels on earth, and in a post new-covenant reinterpretation, claims the ladder as representative of Christ, the one whom forms the bridge between God in heaven and man on earth. Some interesting thoughts, and something I would like to come back to study later. continue reading
Our heros are not perfect.
These people, those we herald as the “heroes of the faith” were not perfect: they had very real flaws, made very real (and often disastrous) mistakes, and did not follow God perfectly.
This is something that I have noticed throughout Scripture, but it really stood out to me in today’s reading. Honestly, it’s one of the most comforting themes I see in Scripture: that those extolled for their faith were not perfect.
In this reading, Jacob does not trust that God will take care of him. God has promised Jacob blessings and descendants, and tells Jacob he will be with him as he returns to the land of his father (21:3). But despite this, Jacob is fearful of Laban, continue reading…
It’s pretty neat to see how God reaffirms his covenant with Isaac in the beginning of chapter 26. Abraham has died, so now the covenant has been passed to Isaac, of which God reminds him. God reveals himself to the next generation and passes on the covenant again in chapter 28 with Jacob.
I grew up in a Christian family, so God and church was my life. But really, my faith wasn’t mine; it was the faith of my parents, and I was living it because it was the thing to do, and there were no other real options at that age. But the summer before eight grade, continue reading…
Sometimes I feel like I pass over the birth of Isaac as just another birth story. I almost did it writing this. But then I stopped and thought about it: this is a big deal. This is God’s covenant with Abraham finally coming to fruition. It’s in chapter 12 that God first promises to make Abraham into a great nation, and Abraham is 73 at this point. It takes almost 30 years for this promise to begin to be fulfilled. After such a long time of waiting and praying for the child from whom this great nation will spring, the hope and joy felt at his birth must have been astonishing. The child that was promised had finally arrived; how joyful Abraham and Sarah must have been.
This makes the almost-sacrifice of Isaac that much more astonishing. I don’t have children of my own, so I can’t speak from experience, but I can imagine the thought of sacrificing your own child continue reading…