Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Isaac

Lesson 7: Isaac’s Death and Legacy

(Scripture to Read: Genesis 35:27–29 and Genesis 36:1–8)

Isaac’s life ended quietly, at least as far as the Bible tells us. Nothing more is recorded about his life after the stolen blessing in Genesis 27, until we come to his death notice. Esau’s life took a completely different path from Jacob’s, and his descendants became the Edomites, who lived in modern-day Jordan and would later be Israel’s enemies.

Several references to Isaac in Genesis make it clear that, despite his relatively uneventful life, he was still the son of promise in the line of God’s blessing to Israel. For instance, in both Genesis 31:42 and 53, God is referred to as “the Fear of Isaac” – that is, the God whom Isaac feared or worshiped. And in Genesis 42:9, Jacob prayed to the “God of my father Isaac.” As we said earlier, Isaac was the least prominent of the three leading patriarchs of Israel, but he was a faithful worshiper of the true God who believed His promises. Thus Isaac is worthy of his honored place in Israel’s history and heritage as one of her three patriarchs.

Study Questions

  1. A long life and many descendants were two signs of God’s blessing in the days of the patriarchs. How did Isaac’s life reflect the fact that God had blessed him?
  2. All but one of Esau’s wives were Canaanites. What was the greatest danger of marrying outside the covenant community? (Hint: read 1 Kings 11:1-8.)
  3. What does the Bible mean when it tells us to “fear the Lord”?
  4. Jacob and Esau were so prosperous that the land could not support both of them after Jacob moved back with all of his flocks and herds. Why do you think God blessed Esau even though he seemed to have little spiritual sensitivity?

Something to Think About

The story of Jacob and Esau reminds us that we cannot always predict, and certainly cannot control, God’s actions and choices. He does what He knows is best – and you can be sure He always has your best interests at heart.

The world needs more low-profile people like Isaac, as well as those like Abraham and Jacob. These kinds of people can be pleased even if their place of service doesn’t seem as prominent as someone else’s. Being faithful where God has placed you is reward enough.

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