And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
We haven’t heard anything about Isaac for quite some time. The last time the Bible mentioned him he was already blind and expected to die of old age at any time. That was more than twenty years ago.
When the twins, Jacob and Esau, were forty years old, Jacob cheated Esau out of his inheritance. He was then forced to flee to Syria, to his uncle Laban, because Esau wanted to kill him. The family imploded.
Their mother, Rebekah, who had conspired with Jacob to cheat Esau, died sometime during the twenty years that Jacob was gone and never saw him again in this life. Their blind Father, Isaac, was left alone. Esau lived in Seir, Jacob in Syria, and Isaac in Hebron. Now, after twenty years, Jacob had returned. God had done a great miracle of transformation in his heart and had turned him from the conniving thief called Jacob into the One-Who-Wrestles-with-God, re-named Israel. Esau, in spite of his still-shouldering anger, could see the change in his brother. He came to meet him with an army of four hundred men, intent on carrying out his plan to murder Jacob, but when he saw the new man that Jacob/Israel, had become, he changed his mind and welcomed him home. Now, together they were able to meet peacefully by the bedside of their Father Isaac and mourn together at his funeral. It sounds more like a Soap Opera than a Bible story, doesn’t it? Do you know any families with a similar story? Maybe even your own? God is at work as we seek Him and pray, even when our hearts are broken. Whatever terrible bad choices have been made in rebellion against God and self-centered living, and whatever the painful consequences of those choices, God continues to work to get hold of our hearts and transform us into a holy people that He can use and bless. This soap opera family became the nation of Israel, the Chosen People of God, through whom He would bring us His Word, and through whom the Savior would come. Stay faithful in prayer. Your loved ones are not unreachable, no matter how it looks at the moment. God is everywhere present and is still at work in their hearts. Lord, You alone know where each of my loved ones are and the condition of each heart. I lift them up again in prayer before You. Let Your Word, sown in their hearts, grow roots and bear fruit. Give the gift of true repentance and faith. Restore them to Yourself and bring healing and renewal to our homes. Be the Lord of our lives and families, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Pastor Dan Giles