The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. 2 And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had
spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him,
whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. – Genesis 21:1-3
We learn in Genesis 12 that Abraham was 75 years old when God first gave His promises to Abraham. In Genesis 15, the promise is again made that Abraham will have a son to be his heir and begin the promised great Nation. Genesis 16 tells us that Abraham is 86 years old when Ishmael is born. However, he would not be the promised son from God. Finally in Genesis 22, at the age of 100, Isaac is born to Sarah and Abraham. The long-ago promised heir has been born.
Think about the life of Isaac. He was the fulfillment of a promise made 25 years before, his birth. There was great joy and excitement in the family with the birth of Isaac. However, in the next chapter, God puts Abraham to the test. He tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to God. We do not get much reaction from Isaac in this story. He questions where the sacrifice is, not realizing it’s him. He is lying on the altar with his father holding a knife over top of him. Talk about a traumatic experience! Yet, Isaac will see the Lord protect him and provide a sacrifice.
Isaac grows and marries Rebekah. Isaac, while being a man of faith, also had his failures. Much like his father, Abraham, Isaac lied about his wife Rebekah and told Abimelech she was his sister, to protect himself. Drama always seems to follow this family. Isaac and Rebekah have twin boys, Jacob and Esau. Similar to the relationship between Isaac and his brother Ishmael, Jacob and Esau didn’t have the healthiest relationship. It didn’t help that Isaac had his favorite, Esau, and Rebekah had her favorite, Jacob. The drama goes on and Esau gives up his birthright as the first born to Jacob because he is hungry and trades his birthright to Jacob for soup. Then Rebekah and Jacob plot against Esau and Isaac, and get Isaac to give his blessing to Jacob instead of Esau. Isaac lived a life that would give any screen writer plenty of material to write about!
Yet through all this, God is working out his plan of providing a great Nation and the family line into which Jesus will enter the world in. Through it all, God is preparing salvation for His people in the long-awaited Messiah. The call of Abraham to sacrifice Isaac is a preview of the sacrifice that God will later make of His one and only Son, Jesus. This is the story that Genesis continues to build toward.