We often hear about the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Today, I’d like to add Joseph to that illustrious list. Why? I believe he displayed the same type of tenacious faith which characterized the lives of his forefathers.
Abraham waited until he was 100 years old before God’s great promise for his life was fulfilled – a son by his beloved wife, Sarah. Sure he made some missteps along the way, but by and large, Abraham’s dedication to God never wavered. He obeyed God’s call to leave his home and family for an unknown land and held tightly to every revelation/word that God gave him. The book of Genesis records that he built four altars over the course of his life (chs. 12, 13 and 22); each of which represents a decision to worship and honor God above all else – even the very child of promise.
We don’t have quite as much insight into Isaac’s life, but it is notable that Isaac had only one wife and is recorded as meditating or praying to God in a field when she came into his life (Genesis 24:63-64). Isaac knew his father had sent a servant to find Isaac a wife; perhaps he was praying for a successful outcome to this quest? We know for sure how Isaac approached Rebecca’s barrenness; Genesis 25:21 says “Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless.” Perhaps the most ringing endorsement of Isaac’s life is when his son Jacob referred to God as “The Fear of Isaac” when making a covenant with his father-in-law, Laban (Genesis 31:42).
Jacob was a character right from the womb – grasping Esau’s heel as his older twin emerged (Genesis 25:26). Yet the trajectory of his life demonstrates that the faith of his fathers left a deep imprint on him. We’ll explore that next time.