The patriarch Isaac was a
multi-faceted person. He was a
nomadic herdsman, moving his herds and flocks from place to place.
Weren’t such herdsmen usually poor?
Not Isaac! “He had so
many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him”
So Isaac was wealthy?
Yes, “and his wealth continued to grow until he became very
wealthy” [Gen 26:13]. How
did Isaac achieve this? Through
terrific financial planning and business strategies?
The Philistine king, Abimelech, and his personal adviser knew the
answer. “We saw clearly that
the Lord was with you…”
[Gen 26:28]. God guided and
Abimelech finally told Isaac:
“Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us” [Gen 26:16].
Just how powerful was Isaac? Powerful
enough for King Abimelech to seek him out to make a one-sided treaty in
which Isaac agreed to do the Philistines no harm [Gen 26:29].
Think about treaties. Who
made treaties? Wasn’t
Abimelech treating Isaac like another king?
Wasn’t Isaac militarily as powerful as a king?
Say, wasn’t this treaty a
carbon copy of the one Abimelech had made with Abraham many years ago?
Wasn’t Abimelech treating both Abraham and Isaac and their
followers like a nation on the move? Wasn’t
God already at work to fulfill his promise to make Abraham a great nation?
Wasn’t Isaac also a man of
faith in God? As a teenager,
he accompanied his father Abraham to offer a burnt offering.
During the three-day journey to
Yet, he allowed his father to
bind and place him on top of the wood laid on an altar, as the burnt
offering. He did not run away
when he had the chance. The
Bible does not say that Isaac protested or begged to be spared, even when
Abraham raised his knife to kill him.
Didn’t Isaac have strong faith in God, and in his father?
What a frightening and
psychologically traumatic experience it must have been for Isaac!
But does the Bible indicate in the slightest way that it had
affected the relationship between Isaac and his father?
Did he grow up twisted in ways that modern psychologists,
psychiatrists and transactional analysts now lead us to expect?
Did Isaac become a model father?
No, he played favourites with his children.
He loved Esau, the elder of his twin sons [Gen 25:28].
Before you condemn Isaac, stop and think for a moment:
Are you showing more love to one of your children above all the
others? If so, what are you
going to do about it?
One of the puzzling things in
the Bible is this: Why did rich and powerful Isaac send Jacob on a
hazardous 1,000-kilometre journey to
Was it because Isaac didn’t
love Jacob? But surely he
couldn’t have wanted Jacob harmed by robbers and brigands?
Was it to prevent Esau from noting the absence of the servants and
detecting Jacob’s departure earlier?
No, for Esau would be watching Jacob, not the servants?
Then was it the same reason why Jacob later sent his beloved
17-year-old son Joseph on a long journey in search of his elder brothers,
alone and among people of other races?
Was it a make-or-break move to help his wimpy son to mature,
toughen up, become more independent and be a “real man”?
Did it succeed in the case of Jacob?
Are we mollycoddling our
children, and preventing them from growing up into mature, independent and
strong individuals able to take hard knocks in life?
Are we helping them to think of and rely on God in their everyday
life, as Jacob and Joseph did?
Dr Ng Peh Cheng chaired the chapel on 16th
June. The session was devoted to singing hymns and praying especially for
needs of BGST and Dr Aquilla Lee's health.
Chapel Speaker on 30th June will be Mr
Is Mentoring & Discipleship the same?
is proud to present
with Prof. Houston. This is open to all BGST Faculty, Staff and Students and will be held from at BGST. Cost: $5.00. Booking and payment in advance please by June 28th to Admin Office. Thanks!
A Blessed Birthday to ...
Loh Yiau Leng 28/6
Ng Peh Cheng 29/6
Goh Mui Pong 29/6
Ong Kong Beng 30/6
Paul Tan 1/7
Walter Edman 2/7
Eric Tan 2/7