Bible Challenge, Week 6: The Promise – Isaac

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What’s there to think about Isaac?  A promised child, a near-victim, a weak husband, a gullible father . . . meh.  He fades into the crack between Abraham and Jacob. and we see very little of his actions, even less of his inward thoughts.  The defining moment of his life may well have been the instant when, somewhere around 15 years old, he lay bound on a stone altar gazing up at a knife held by his own father.  Trustingly? Fearfully? Incredulously?  Maybe all those things at once, and the experience could have scarred him for life.  But now he enjoys an eternal existence as one-third of the patriarchal triumvirate, the “Abraham-Isaac-and-Jacob that the God of Israel would identify Himself by.

It turned out okay for him.  However colorless he appears, being a vital link in the chain of God’s covenant blessing is no small thing.


Click here for the pdf download:

Bible Challenge, Week 6: The Promise – Isaac

(This is a continuation of a series of posts about the “whole story” of the Bible.  I plan to run one every week, on Tuesdays, with a printable PDF.  The printable includes a brief 2-3 paragraph introduction, Bible passages to read, a key verse, 5-7 thought/discussion questions, and 2-3 activities for the kids.  Here’s the Overview of the entire Bible series.)

Previous: Week 5: The Promise – Abraham

Next: Week 6: The Promise – Jacob


  1. // Reply

    Good Afternoon, Janie – I am teaching through your Bible Reading Challenge at a retirement center on Wednesday evenings, using your pdf’s as handouts (the week before we discuss it). I just read the one for week 6 on Sacrifice … and have a comment about the assertion we don’t know the purpose of Abraham’s sacrifice … it seems to me we do know the purpose of the sacrifice Abraham was commanded to do (using Isaac). Scripture calls it a “burnt offering” and, as best I can tell (looking at other uses in Scripture), it is a sacrifice for sins … by implication, Abraham’s own sins. Thus, he was commanded to sacrifice his son for His sins … and, of course, this points to his Offspring (singular), a “son of Abraham” (and David, etc) who would not have a substitute but actually be our Substitute, once and for all, finally, be sacrificed for all our sins.

    1. // Reply

      That’s a good point, Ward, and I will take it into account. We do know, that as a sacrifice for sin even Isaac, the beloved son, would have been inadequate, as Micah 6:4 implies. And we know that the sacrifice of one’s own offspring was strictly forbidden by the Lord, who complains through Jeremiah that such a thought would never had entered his mind (Jer. 17:5, et al.). That’s why God’s command to Abraham seems puzzling, though I agree with you that it points to the perfect Substitute for sin. I may do some rewriting there!

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