Isaac, son of Abraham

Recently I have been writing a series on ‘praising God in all things’ in its various forms.

Sometimes trusting God, never mind praising Him is quite a challenge. Looking at examples of this in the Bible, and there are many, I chose this week to look at the life of Isaac, son of Abraham. He is a good example of trusting God… and his father.  Why else would he have allowed his father to tie him up and lay down on the altar?

Let us review his life.

Sarah laughed

He was a miracle child. His mother, Sarah was well past child-bearing age at the age of ninety.

Sarah’s response to the news…

Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” Genesis 18: 12

The apostle Paul writing about Abraham…

And not being week in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead, (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. Romans 4:19

Since Abraham was very much alive, and would be for some long years more, it seems feasible to believe that the ‘deadness’ of Abraham was in his ability to produce sperm.

Isaac miracle child

So Isaac, often called the ‘son of promise’ was very much a miracle child.


Did Abraham fulfill God’s trust in Isaac’s upbringing…

For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” Genesis 18:19

Fear of the lord, quote

Isaac must have been raised in ‘the fear of the Lord’ and to be obedient to his parents.

Which brings me back to the question… ‘why would he have allowed his father to tie him up and lay down on the altar?’

How old was he?

No one knows but there are many theories. Even if he was a teenager, he could have overpowered his very old father. But Josephus puts his age at twenty five… much larger and stronger and fitter than his father. There is another theory, that Isaac was thirty-three, like Christ. (He is often seen as a ‘type’ of Christ, so this is not beyond the realm of possibility.) Check out this link for a discussion on Isaac’s age.

When all is said and done, his age does not matter. What counts is his trust and obedience.

Yet, in spite of this, Isaac has the least written about him in the Bible. Let’s dig beneath the surface and see what IS written and what we can learn from it.laughing baby

His name meant ‘laughing’ or ‘laughter’. Was this entirely because of his parents’ reaction to the news he would be conceived… or did it also describe his nature?


Did he feel he had to ‘live up’ to his father? If so it would have been a great challenge. After all, his father was the ‘friend of God’, and ‘the father of the faithful’. Remember what God said about Abraham…

“For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has spoken to him.” Genesis 18: 20

The first proof of that was in Isaac’s obedience… he did what his father said.

obedience quoteThere were other ways that Isaac showed that he paid attention to what his father taught him, and his attitude towards God. We will look at those next time.

Till then, go in peace,

Tread softly – you may be  treading on someone’s dreams,



2 thoughts on “Isaac, son of Abraham

  1. Scott Johnson

    The story of Isaac’s sacrificed always seemed bizarre to me. Not sure what was going on in Abraham’s mind at the time, but, wow, what a testimony of trust and obedience!

    • susanprestonbooks

      I have thought about this a lot over the years. Abraham is described as ‘God’s friend’. so it figures that he would have known God pretty well. He also knew the commandments and statutes. I figure as he was walking along he was thinking of all he knew about God, and sizing it all up. But what a testament to trusting God! I am grateful we are not tested to that degree.

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