Saturday, 24 April 2010

Postscript to the Gospel of Jesus Christ According to Isaac

I've been preparing a sermon the last couple of days on Gen 17 to give next week at RUCU main meeting. One thing I never pondered the significance of when I wrote this post, was the name of Abraham's miraculously born son: Isaac.

So what?! I hear you cry.

And I understand your cry. In modern Western culture we love to choose nice names for our kids, even ones that are profound. However, we don't normally give them a name that tracks either our own life story or, even more spookily, prophetically sums up what their life would be about. But that is exactly what goes on in the strange world of the Bible, and Isaac's name falls into this prophetic second category.

Isaac means "He laughs." It's a mocking kind of laughter. But that begs the question: Who's laughing and why?

God is laughing. He is laughing at Abraham's attempt (in his puny OAP strength) to try and help God fulfil God's promises to him, (by "puny attempt" I'm refering to the birth of Ishmael)

Moreover, through the birth and life of Isaac, God would further show off the great theme of history: his laughter at human choice and human wisdom, in it's effort to try and set itself up in God's place do what God does, rather than just trusting him.

Isaac's life is a picture of Christ's. Through the eternal Son, God the Father laughs at the so called wisdom of the world in trying to set itself up in God's place.

Abraham couldn't help but laugh at the incredulity of God's promise to him, but God had the last laugh in his life and God will have the last laugh in history, as he vindicates his choice and his wisdom before the eyes of all people.

1 comment:

dave bish said...

Love to hear that one. You're going to have some quality stuff to leave in the study - should be a gem of a gospel preach.