Today's Manna

January 17, 2017
Like Father, Like Son
by Rabon Metcalf
Scripture Reading: Genesis 26

The old adage “like father, like son” rings true and Abraham and Isaac were no exception. Abraham was “the friend of God” (James 2:23) and a man of faith (Heb. 11:8-19), but he also had his faults. At times, Abraham lied and deceived himself. Obviously some of Abraham’s sinful behaviors were picked up by Isaac. In Genesis 26, when Isaac was confronted with a situation where he could either risk his life by telling the truth or follow in some of his father’s bad footsteps (cf. v. 7 with Gen 12:13, 20:2), he chose the latter.

What is learned is more often “caught” rather than “taught.” I know what I am purposefully teaching others, but what am I unintentionally teaching through bad habits, poor attitude, language, etc? Look at the grief that Isaac and Rebekah felt because of Esau wives (emphasis placed on the plural form) found in the closing verse of this chapter. Obviously, Esau was not obeying God. Could his behavior have been the result of his parents unintentional teachings?

Today’s reading ought to spur us to examine our lives and the message that our actions are teaching others (spouse, children, co-workers, friends and family). We know that if anything good grows out of relationships that we have in this life it is by God’s grace. However, we also know that our personal actions, intentional or unintentional, can tragically lead us to negatively influence people in our lives and cause them grief, in the same way that Isaac’s actions caused Abimelech grief and Esau’s actions grieved his parents.

None of us are perfect and we will not always be a good example for those that we influence. However, we have an excellent example of “like father, like son” in God the Father and Jesus Christ. Jesus’ perfect relationship with His Father is one that we can hold up and emulate. This is one more reason to point others to Christ!

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