Reading: Genesis 25:12-34
Moses here records the genealogies of Ismael and Isaac. However, God gathers his church in Isaac’s generations. Therefore the focus is on Isaac and his family.
Ishmael, Isaac’s half-brother, has twelve sons. The Lord had earlier promised to make Ishmael a great nation.
God had also promised that Isaac would have many descendants. However for 19 years Rebecca was barren. Year after year they hoped for a child. Where was the seed which should equal the stars of heaven in number? It was a real struggle. Isaac and Rebecca had learned to trust God, and now in faith they turn to Him. Isaac pleads for a child and God grants his plea. Imagine their happiness. However, Rebecca is very concerned when she feels a great struggle inside her womb. Are things are going wrong? Her joy and thankfulness turn into anxiety. What should she do? Again in faith she asks the Lord, and He answers. Two nations are in her womb.
What do we learn? First, God shows that beyond all hope and expectation the two sons are born, to teach us that the Church was produced and increased by divine power and grace, and not by merely natural means. Today the church still continues, not just by human effort, but by God’s power and grace. Second, we are taught that patience, faith and fervent prayer are vital in the Christian life. Isaac’s example urges us to persevere, knowing God always listens to our pleas.
Key verse: Genesis 25:21 “Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived.”
Question: Are patience, faith and fervent prayer a vital part of your life?