History Guided by a Promise
The promise made to Abraham by the Lord was an important part of history. This promise was a new nation for Abraham to build. This nation would be a God-centered nation instead of the self-centered nation Abram was living in. God also promised a son to Abram, this son’s name is Ishmael. Another son is Abram will be named Isaac. Abram was one hundred years old when Isaac was born. The lord also wanted all males to be circumcised as a sign to the covenant to the Lord. The Lord tested Abram many times; Abram passed each test because his faith was true and full of heart. Isaac was even told to sacrifice his only son Isaac. “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. Then said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." (Gen 22:1-2)” Isaac was not sacrificed, but a lamb was provided by the Lord. “Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." (Gen 22:13-14)” Isaac, Abram’s son, was also guided by the covenant. He found a wife for which others provided for him. Isaac did not resist when Abram was to sacrifice him and this taught him to accept what others choose for him. He will teach us to put God first and let Him guide us through life. Jacob, Isaac’s son, had learned the hard way how the covenant would be a great power. He deceived and did wrong choices. He took fourteen years to marry his wife. Jacob was a strong leader but he also worked as a servant because he was too strong of a leader. Jacob teaches us how the wrong actions will come back to haunt us. Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, was a slave and rose in power to become a ruler of Egypt. The covenant between Abram and God was a promise to lead many nations through Abram and his decedents. Each of the decedents had different strengths and weaknesses. Isaac was grateful of what he received; he was neither greedy nor self-centered. Jacob was a deceiver and did everything the hard way because he tried to hard to succeed. He had to work fourteen years to get the wife he desired, Rachel. Jacob had six sons and four wives and he had one favorite son, Joseph. Joseph was over confident and gained a lot through his years, he was a slave, a servant, a convict, and finally a ruler of Egypt.
Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 12-50
Merrill, chap. 3, (1991) Historical Survey of the Old Testament