Isaac’s Choice

October 18, 2023
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“Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.” 

Genesis 21:1-3 

You are a person of providence. By providence I mean that your life is not incidental, accidental, or coincidental. You are not incidental – you are not meaningless or barely meaningful. You are not accidental – you are not the product of two people’s mistake. And you are not coincidental – your life and personality are not the random result of two people’s love.  

You are providential.  

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were at work in your creation. They have been at work in your journey. And they are at work in you today. The degree to which you acknowledge Them and Their work is irrelevant to the reality that they are working. The degree to which you acknowledge Them and Their work is super relevant to the blessing you experience!  

Let me use Isaac as an example of providential life. Isaac was the promised son of Abraham and Sarah. At some point in his childhood his parents would have told him about his miraculous conception and birth – his mom was 90! Abraham and Sarah would have told Isaac the stories of God’s promise of a son. Of how long they had to wait. Of the joy they experienced at his birth. 

Then Abraham would have told Isaac about all of God’s promises. In Genesis 12:1-3, our Father appeared to Abraham, who was called Abram at the time, and promised to make a nation of people through him. Abraham, his family, and all the families who would follow him, would be blessed.  

Isaac would learn about God, His promises, and his family. And then Isaac would have learned about his role in the family line. Isaac’s life carried providential weight. God our Father orchestrated the life of Isaac, from birth, to experience His promised love and faithfulness. Isaac’s life was filled with importance and meaning as he embraced his providential life.  

Now, to be sure, Isaac’s life and mission would have been radically different from everyone else he met. Following the God of Abraham was not a popular way of life. All the people Isaac would have met would have their own beliefs that shaped their own understandings and their missions. Isaac would have to choose. And he would have to choose without the benefit of seeing or reading about Jesus, the work of the Holy Spirit in the early church, the completed Bible, or a band of brothers that shared powerful stories.  

Isaac would have to choose based on the testimonies of his parents and his own encounters with Yahweh. 

Who Isaac was as a man, his importance and his mission all flowed out of his belief in Yahweh’s providence. Yahweh was not distant. He was not removed. He did not set Isaac’s life in motion and leave him to “walk it out” on his own. Yahweh’s providence had the power to define Isaac’s life.  

Isaac had to choose.  

And so do you.  

Our Father’s providence can easily provide all the meaning, substance, and direction you need.  

  • As Abraham and Sarah would have told Isaac the story of his miraculous birth, if you are in Christ, your new birth is an absolute miracle. The Holy Spirit of God came into your spirit and regenerated you. He made you alive. Regardless of whether you were born again at age 7 or 47, your new birth is a miracle story.  
  • As Abraham and Sarah would have told Isaac the story of Yahweh’s covenantal plan to birth a nation through their family, you are a part of that same covenantal family. The Apostle Paul concludes, “And if you belong to Christ, then you Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:29). In your salvation, you were made a part of Abraham’s family, an heir of all that was his. 
  • As Abraham and Sarah would have trained Isaac to live into his mission to carry on Yahweh’s providential work, you have a mission, providential assignments, for which you were created. You and I are called to advance our Father’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Our lives carry the kingdom mantle. Whether you stay at home and care for kids or work in the corporate world you have a providential mandate to, just like Isaac, carry out God’s eternal purposes on earth.  

Unless all you are is incidental. 

Unless all you are is accidental. 

Unless all you are is coincidental. 

But you are not any of those. You are providential. In the mystery of His providence, the Creator of the universe was, and is, involved in every aspect of your life. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).  

Embracing providence is not an invitation to church membership. I am not talking about sitting in a pew. It is not an invitation to read the Bible, to serve, or to go on a mission trip. I am not talking about any of that. I am talking about making Isaac’s choice for yourself. I am talking about embracing who you truly are and the eternal significance of your life.  

This is providential weight.  

This is the magnitude of life that waits for you as we can live in the overflow of the love and faithfulness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

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