Remember flannelgraphs? The life of Isaac provided rich material for these eye-catching Sunday School lessons--promised to parents of old age, bound and offered by his father as a sacrifice, kept at home while a servant was sent to choose his wife, blessed with twins.
The grandparents of Joseph through one of their twins, this Bible patriarch and his wife have a couple of valuable lessons to teach us.
The first lesson we learn from Isaac and Rebekah is of the “what not to do” variety. Soon after reading of the birth of their twin sons in Genesis chapter 25, we read these words, “Isaac … loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob” (Genesis 25:28).
Isaac and Rebekah played favorites with their sons, and it proved to be a very dangerous game. Instead of growing up as close-knit brothers, these boys grew to become fierce rivals. In fact, when all was said and done, poached birthrights, mother-son deceptions, and stolen blessings fueled one of the worst rivalries in history.
Isaac and Rebekah demonstrate to us the negative outcome of showing partiality. In His Word, God instructs us not to show favoritism (James 2:1, 9). As well, we know from Scripture that Christ died for all (John 3:16), and that God Himself shows no favoritism (Romans 2:11). It is clear, as grandparents, we must avoid ever playing favorites among our grandchildren.
Let’s not leave Isaac not a sour note. There is another valuable lesson he can teach us, and while the first lesson was a “what not to do,” this one is of a much more positive nature.
In a time when multiple wives and concubines were common, we see from the Bible that Isaac was faithful to Rebekah. No, they were not perfect, neither was their relationship perfect. Yet, in a marriage founded on God, they remained committed to one another no matter what.
Marriage is sacred. It is to be founded on God, and our commitment to it unwavering. In a culture of little commitment and follow-through, where marriage is considered lightly and viewed as disposable, our grandchildren need us to be a model of biblical marriage no matter how tough things get.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Paul Bradbury