by Frans Bakker
And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife. —Genesis 25:21
Isaac was a man of prayer. He entreated the Lord for Rebekah, his wife. But it was not only Isaac who knew prayer. We can most certainly say this of Abraham and Jacob as well. They also were men of prayer. But if we look at the setting of our text, we notice something special about Isaac that we did not find with Abraham and Jacob. Isaac prayed for a child. He prayed fervently for Rebekah, who was barren. But Isaac behaved differently than his father did when he was in the same situation. Then Abraham neglected to entreat the Lord. Instead he took matters into his own hands to ensure the blessing of a child. Abraham found refuge in Hagar, but Isaac found his refuge in God.
Later on, Jacob neglected to entreat the Lord. For when Jacob wanted to receive the covenant blessing, he schemed and manipulated matters in this same tent of his father. He could not leave matters in the Lord’s hands, as his father had done. Isaac expected all things from God. Jacob took matters into his own hands. We read of many deeds of faith in the lives of Abraham and Jacob. But quiet Isaac is greater here than both of them, for he could leave all his concerns with God. Or let us rather say that Isaac was smaller instead of greater. He was smaller as he stood before God because he did not dare deliver himself with his own hands like Abraham and Jacob had done, but Isaac lifted his hands up to the LORD for help. Truly, Isaac was great because he was small.
“And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife.” Oh, it is a blessing to be able to pray in such a way! It is letting go of our own strength, and looking away from self. It is looking up to the Lord and waiting expectantly for what He will do. This is what the Lord has left us with, in His Word, concerning Isaac. He is an example for you and me. Isaac’s way was a profitable and blessed way. While Abraham experienced the bitter consequences of his own actions, and Jacob had to endure no less misery because of his scheming and manipulation, Isaac was not put to shame before the Lord.
Do you know this hidden life? The answer to this question lies between God and your soul. What a rich blessing it is to be able to lay our affairs before the throne of grace, realizing that they are actually God’s affairs. Then God’s honor is at stake.
From The Everlasting Word by Frans Bakker, compiled and translated by Gerald R. Procee. Reformation Heritage Books and Free Reformed Publications, 2007. Used by permission. For further information, click here.