Duration: 365 days
CATCHING GOD’S HEART
During their long journey together, God prospers his friend Abraham, who has bravely trusted him. Abraham has several sons with his second wife, Keturah, and showers them with the wealth God has given him. But Abraham lavishes the most on Isaac, the son of promise. After a long and full life, Abraham dies, going to be with the God he so faithfully followed. Isaac and Ishmael bury their father with his precious sojourner-wife Sarah in a cave on the only piece of the promised land that he possesses.
True to his word, God blesses Ishmael too, making his 12 sons princes. But they live at odds with everyone around them. Isaac’s wife Rebekah is unable to conceive, but Isaac prays hard for her, and God answers—with twins. And not just twins—God tells Rebekah that each boy will be the father of a nation and that, contrary to culture, the older son will serve the younger one. Esau is born first and is closely followed by Jacob, grasping his heel. When the twins are grown, a hungry Esau sells his status as the firstborn—he sells God’s promises—to Jacob for a bowl of stew. As Isaac travels throughout the promised land, reopening the wells his father had dug, God says that he will carry out his promises to Abraham through him.
The King’s Heart
Neither of Isaac’s sons was righteous. Esau was “godless” (Hebrews 12:16), marrying idol-worshiping women. Jacob manipulated his brother out of his birthright and deceived their elderly father (see Genesis 25:29–34; 27:1–29).
Yet God said this: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” (Romans 9:13).
Why? Perhaps it’s because Jacob unapologetically went after the birthright and the father’s blessing—after God’s promises, after his heart. To Esau, God’s promises were bowl-of-soup worthless. But not to Jacob. Most likely, both brothers grew up hearing, “God spoke to your grandfather Abraham and gave him great promises—land as far as the eye can see, descendants as numerous as the stars.” Jacob wanted God’s blessings—badly. Beg-borrow-and-steal badly. So he went after them. Unconventionally, yes. But also unashamedly. And apparently Jacob’s pursuit caught the heart of the King. “Jacob I loved . . . ”
When we passionately pursue God, we just might catch his heart.
In Gerar, where Isaac was digging wells, water was a lifeline, the most precious commodity. When the Philistines plugged them up, it was an act of war. But Isaac showed patience with his enemies; he didn’t fight back. God blessed him for it with new wells and eventually his enemies sought him out to make a peace treaty. Perhaps his patience changed their hearts.
Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.