Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the past two messages concerning Isaac, we have seen that he was the heir of grace and that he rested and enjoyed throughout his entire life. Now we must see that with this grace-enjoying person there were still the natural weakness and the natural life. It is difficult for us to understand this point. According to our natural, religious concept, we always think that if we are natural, we cannot have the enjoyment of grace. According to our religious concept, the enjoyment of grace depends upon how spiritual we are. In our teachings and exhortations, especially to our relatives and children, we say that in order to enjoy the grace of God we must be good, and that if we are not good, we are through with God's grace. Probably none of us has ever thought that participating in the grace of God does not depend upon our being spiritual. On the contrary, we all have thought that we must be spiritual in order to enjoy the grace of God.
Isaac was a model, a pattern, of the enjoyment of God's grace. In the whole Bible there is hardly another person who enjoyed grace as much as Isaac did. Throughout his entire life Isaac did nothing except enjoy the grace of God. His life was a grace-enjoying life. Nevertheless, in Isaac we see exactly the same natural weakness as we saw in Abraham. Furthermore, in Isaac we also see the natural life of Jacob. Like Jacob, Isaac lived in a natural way. Jacob loved his son Joseph according to his natural taste (37:3-4), and this caused trouble in the family. Joseph's brothers hated him because of his father's partial love for him. Isaac also loved Esau partially, loving him because he was a skillful hunter and could obtain the venison which Isaac loved (25:27-28). Thus, Esau was a father's boy. By this we see that Isaac and Jacob were the same as far as the natural life is concerned.
If you say that Isaac did not cheat anyone, I would point out that his wife Rebekah was his cheating helper. In a sense, Isaac differed from Jacob in the matter of supplanting, but this gap was filled by Rebekah. Every wife is a part of her husband; she is her husband's completion and perfection. Without Rebekah, Isaac probably would not have been an expert at cheating. But with Rebekah, he certainly became the same as Jacob. Jacob learned how to supplant from his supplanting mother, and his supplanting mother was the supplanting completion to his father Isaac. Therefore, in Isaac we see the natural life of Jacob.
Isaac was a grace-enjoying person. According to our natural concept, a person who has a natural weakness and who lives in the natural life can never enjoy the grace of God. This is our concept; it is not God's word. In the Bible, we cannot see that Isaac was very spiritual. He was a man who still had a natural weakness and who still lived in the natural life. Why then did he have such an enjoyment of God's grace? Simply because God had ordained it that way. With us Christians, there is the aspect of God's ordination. As we have already pointed out, it is our destiny to enjoy the grace of God. This destiny was preordained before the foundation of the world. Do not think that if you are spiritual, you are privileged to enjoy God's grace and that if you are not spiritual, you cannot enjoy His grace. This is a religious concept, and the Bible does not teach this. After hearing that enjoying grace does not depend upon our being spiritual, some may say, "If we don't need to be spiritual to enjoy God's grace, then let us be unspiritual." Do not say this. Neither being spiritual nor being unspiritual will help us to enjoy God's grace. It is entirely a matter of God's ordination, and it does not depend on what we are nor on what we can do. With us, there is the aspect of Isaac. We have been ordained by God to the enjoyment of grace. If we are spiritual, we shall not enjoy grace more, and if we are unspiritual we shall not miss the grace of God. But we should not say, "Let us do evil that good may come." Do not waste your time trying to be spiritual or trying to be unspiritual. Simply say, "O Lord, I worship You for Your ordination. You have ordained me to the enjoyment of grace." At the least, we all are a part of Isaac. In our being there is the aspect of having been ordained by God to the enjoyment of His grace.
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