Today the Church commemorates Isaac, an ancestor of Christ. Our devotion comes from Celebrating the Saints.
With Isaac we cannot but remember how the Lord who gives is also the Lord who takes away. Abraham, in his obedience to the divine command, prepared to offer his only-begotten son. And here, even more than in his joy-filled name, Isaac serves as a type of his descendant, Jesus. The donkey, the wood laid on his back, the question about the lamb—these all point to the final Promised Seed of Abraham who would die on Golgotha’s hill, the Lamb that God did finally provide as the substitute (Genesis 22). Every time we approach the altar to receive the blessed Sacrament, what do we receive but the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Indeed, God still provides.
As Isaac grew to manhood, Abraham took care to provide him a wife from his own clan. The beautiful story of how the Lord guided Abraham’s servant Eliezer and answered his prayer is told in Genesis 24. Here is yet another beautiful type of Christ, as Isaac welcomes and treasures his beloved and laughs with her. In it we see a picture of the Savior’s delight in His Bride, the Holy Church.
Like his father, Isaac prayed for his wife, for she was barren. She conceived and bore the twins Jacob and Esau. She consulted God as she was with child and heard from God that the older would serve the younger. Her conviction that this was so explains her complicity in the deception of her blind husband. The birthright went not to Isaac’s favorite but to the wily Jacob. Isaac lived a long life and finally was gathered to His people. But his name of laughter is forever remembered. The God who can make a ninety-year-old woman conceive and bear a child is the God who will later make a virgin who knows not a man to conceive and bear the final Promised Seed. And He will bring joyful laughter to all the earth in the defeat of death and the forgiveness of sin. For Your holy servant Isaac, kind Father, all glory and thanks!
Devotion is adapted from Celebrating the Saints by William C. Weedon, page 142–43 © 2016 William C. Weedon; published by Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Almighty God, heavenly Father, through the patriarch Isaac You preserved the seed of the Messiah and brought forth the new creation. Continue to preserve the Church as the Israel of God as she manifests the glory of Your holy name by continuing to worship Your Son, the child of Mary; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayer is from the Treasury of Daily Prayer, page 628 © 2008 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.