Richard Agee

Isaac and the Passover

Do you see your calling? The Messiah is our Passover (1st Cor. 5:6–8), if that were not the case, we would not be called out by God as a remnant. This word remnant is scattered throughout the Bible. The prophet Ezekiel says that only 10 percent will survive (Ezek. 6:8). The remnant is going to suffer and go through hard times. We must suffer as He suffered. Are you ready for it? No, of course not. But God says that it’s His will, not ours.

Yitzkhak (Isaac) understood something that is hard for us to picture. He knew he was going to be killed, that is huge. Yitzkhak also believed in the promise of God and he knew that God would resurrect him, one way or another. Abraham tied up Yitzkhak, and that put the fear of God into Yitzkhak.

 

Texts: Romans 9, Genesis 21-22 

In Romans 9, Apostle Paul wrote (Rom. 9:6–7),

“For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: ‘through Yitzkhak your descendants will be named.’”

Not Ya’akov (Jacob), not Ephraim or Manasseh. Why does the Apostle Paul focus on Yitzkhak as the heir and the father of the people of God?

Gen. 21:8-12 says,

“The child [Yitzkhak] grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Yitzkhak was weaned. Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Yitzkhak.” The matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son. But God said to Abraham, ‘Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Yitzkhak your descendants shall be named.’”

God was making a point to Abraham, even though it broke his heart to send Ishmael away, it had to be done because Yitzkhak was the heir of promise. 

We learn later how much a son of promise Yitzkhak was (Gen. 22:1–8):

“Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’  He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitzkhak, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Yitzkhak his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.  On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.  Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.’ Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Yitzkhak his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.  Yitzkhak spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ And he said, ‘Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.’”

Yitzkhak asked about the lamb for the burnt offering because it was the standard animal for whole sacrifice and Yitzkhak noted its absence. When Yitzkhak realized that he was supposed to be the one sacrificed, he had a choice to make, to submit or to rebel. He submitted and the God saved him from Abraham’s hand but he did not save Yitzkhak with a lamb but with a ram. There was another substitution here because only Yeshua is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. 

God made a choice from Rivkah’s (Rebekah) womb to chose Ya’akov over Esau. It was not because of any good that Ya’akov had done or any evil that Esau had done. On an earthly level, could a mother or father choose to “love” one son and “hate” the other? Of course not. But God made a choice. 

 Our calling as sons and daughters of God is through Yitzkhak, not through Abraham or Ya’akov. Abraham knew that God would resurrect Yitzkhak from the dead because he stood on God’s prior promises that he would have descendants from Yitzkhak. 

The Apostle Paul goes on to say that God choses who He will have mercy upon and whom He will judge (Rom. 9:8–18):

“That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.  For this is the word of promise: “AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON” [Gen. 18:10].  And not only this, but there was Rivkah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Yitzkhak;  for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER” [Gen. 25:23].  Just as it is written, “Ya’akov I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED” [Mal. 1:2].

What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!  For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION” [Ex. 33:19]. So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH” [Ex. 9:16]. So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”

Not all those who may claim physical descent from Yitzkhak are really of Yitzkhak but God calls out for the sons and daughters of Yitzkhak from all over the world, not because they somehow earned it but because God has made the sovereign choice to extend mercy. He showed us a glimpse of His mercy in the “death” of Yitzkhak and the replacement of Yitzkhak with the ram. This before Yeshua was even born. 

It’s hard for us to understand how Abraham could have gone through with it but he understood that “in Yitzkhak, your sons will be called…” He understood that though Yitzkhak, he would not only have many physical descendants but also spiritual descendants. It’s not from being a Jew or a Ephramite, those have no bearing on being called out as a son or daughter of God. 

Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy. 


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