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The Father's Will to Bless
by Karen Burkhart
Last week as I read for the first time this week's writing assignment, I was at a loss to know what point to draw out from the Scripture. Reading a second time, I noticed the mention of Abraham's concubines along with the summary that Abraham lived a long and satisfying life, and I couldn't help but laugh; I thought surely this is correlation and not causation! I have seen TLC's Sister Wives after all, and know that multiple wives is not a prescription for a happy life. After several more readings and insights from others I finally saw it:
Abraham gave everything he owned to his son Isaac.
If Isaac had been Abraham's only child or even his firstborn son, I likely would have blown right by this, but he was neither. Abraham had, in fact, eight sons, and Isaac was born second. As a mother of two sons, I shudder to think of the circumstances that would lead their father and I to decide to will everything to our youngest. But Abraham's decision to give everything he owned to his son Isaac was not punitive or born of hostility or even favoritism--it was born of God.
You see, when Abraham was 75 years old God told him that He would make him into a great nation and bless all the families of the earth through him. God was revealing that the promised Messiah would come through one of Abraham's descendants. Though the how and the why were mysteries to Abraham, we are told that, "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness."
God had always planned for Isaac to be the firstborn and the branch from which the Messiah would come, but Abraham and Sarah grew impatient. It's hard to not sympathize with them; they had given God more than ten years to do the miraculous and still--no offspring. Perhaps they felt God had forgotten or bitten off more than He could chew, so they hatched a twisted little promise-assistance plan. The result? Ishmael. Though Abraham loved Ishmael, he was not the one through whom God planned to establish the lineage of the Savior of the World. Consequently, life got complicated and Abraham and Sarah waited another thirteen years for the arrival of the child of the promise, Isaac. Eventually God confirmed with Isaac the covenant he had made with Abraham to bless all the nations of the earth through his seed.
Even on his deathbed, Abraham believed God so he gave everything he owned to God's chosen, Isaac. To the rest, he gave gifts and sent them on their way. I admit the disparity doesn't sit right; my flesh wants everything to be divided equally. But God is not bound by human ideas of fairness, though He is always just. God, therefore, had a profound purpose for making Isaac the sole beneficiary of Abraham's estate. Through the relationship of Abraham and Isaac, God was not only establishing the sacred genealogy for Jesus, He was painting a picture of their Father-Son relationship and revealing how we, like Isaac, can become children of the promise and partakers of the spiritual inheritance.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything into His hand. He who trusts in the Son has eternal life. He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him (John 3:25-26).
Just as Abraham was made righteous by believing God, we who trust in Jesus are made right with God and become joint heirs with Jesus! This blessing and inheritance isn't reserved for Jews, or males, or the wealthy, or even those who've come into this world "legitimately"--it's available for all! Praise be to God!
Father in Heaven, thank you for the Word of God that faithfully leads us to Jesus, even in the parts written before He came to earth in the flesh. Thank You for helping us to see that Your ways are always good and have purpose even if we don't understand them immediately. Thanks for giving me all that is yours, to be fully enjoyed one day in heaven, just like Isaac received all that belonged to His Father. Help me, like Isaac, to use my spiritual inheritance to carry on the mission of delivering the hope of Jesus to the world.