As we read through the accounts of Abraham and Isaac, we discover several parallels between them. Both had barren wives and were provided sons through God’s intervention. Both received the covenant promises from God. Both set out for Egypt during famines. And both lied about their wives being their sisters. These parallels are so striking that some go so far as to question the historicity of the accounts. It just seems too convenient, too much like a literary device.
Genesis 26:1 anticipates this concern and addresses it head-on. The earlier famine Abraham experienced is referenced at the beginning of the one Isaac encountered, deliberately distinguishing the two. This is not a rehearsal of the earlier famine. This is not a literary device. This is history.
It is important that we understand the historical nature of the accounts of Abraham and Isaac. The shared patterns between father and son remind us of God’s authority and power, but they also show us how one generation influences the next—for better or worse. Like Abraham, we all leave a spiritual legacy behind us. The question is what will its quality be?
How have others shaped your spiritual life? How are you shaping the spiritual lives of others?