ï»¿RUNNING HEAD: Guided By a Promise
History Guided by a Promise
Old Testament History
God made a promise with Abraham. His promise was to make Abraham and his descendants into a great nation. God did not just hand this nation over to Abraham, first He tested him and the descendants to make sure they would follow Him and do His will. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph were faithful to God and realized everything that happened to them happened because it was Godâ€™s will. Godâ€™s covenant was simple, if Abraham and his descendants would obey God then in the end God would give Abraham and his descendants all the property, power, and wealth that they wanted. The common ground for all of ...view middle of the document...
There was nothing that Abraham would not do for his God. When Isaac was just a little boy, God commanded Abraham to take his only son Isaac to a mountain that He would tell him about and offer him as a sacrifice. Abraham again obeyed God proving to God once more that Abraham loved God more than what he was promised and he had faith in God. Abraham passed his faith and belief in God down to his son Isaac.
Some might think that the only purpose Isaac served was the fact that he was the covenant son of Abraham and the father of Jacob, but this is not the case (Merrill, 1991, p. 84). Isaac led a simple life, he was taught by his father to be obedient to God and to do Godâ€™s will and he would be blessed. Even when he realized at the mountain that he was to be the one sacrificed, not a lamb on the mountain he did not beg for his life instead he trusted his God and realized what would be would be. Like Sara, Isaacâ€™s wife Rebekah was also barren and he prayed to God for Rebekah to be able to have a child. God answered his prayers and she became pregnant with twin boys, Esau and Jacob. When a famine had struck the land where Isaac had settled he went to the Philistine king and the king allowed him to live in Gerar. God had told him not to go to Egypt to go to the land where He told him to live and if he did as he was told then He would stay with him and bless him (Gen. 26:2-3). Isaac did as he was told and the Lord blessed him, he became very wealthy. The Philistines grew jealous of Isaac because it seemed like everything always went his way so to rid the land of him, the people had stopped up his wells with dirt (Gen. 26:15). Abimelach went to him after his wells were stopped up and ordered him to move away from there. Isaac did not argue, instead he chose to keep the peace and do as he was told and moved to the Valley of Gerar and dug a well there. When he found freshwater the herdsman staked claim to it and rather than arguing he moved again. Isaac would move two more times before he would settle in Beersheba. He earned the Philistines respect in the end because he was so patient with them and they formed a treaty. The story of Isaac can teach the reader that God does keep His promises and that if you are patient you will be rewarded.
Jacob was the second son of Isaac. He acquired the birthright through bribery and later by trickery. God was not going to give Jacob all He had promised to Abraham and Isaac until Jacob established his own relationship with God. Up to this point Jacob had done no good, he was successful in getting the birthright that was rightfully his brotherâ€™s through trickery and that was the first lesson that God would have Jacob experience. Fearing for his life Jacob left Beersheba to travel to Haran to get a wife from his Uncle Laban. When he arrived there he saw Rachel so he went to Laban and asked to marry Rachel. During this time it was customary to offer a dowry to the parents of the daughter you were marrying, Jacob...