PATHS In Bible Chapters

Genesis 25
Theme: One Taken, One Left
Key Text: Verse 11


            The title I have chosen for this study is of a New Testament flavor. I’m sure you remember our Lord using the statement, “One shall be taken, and the other left” on several occasions (Matt. 24: 40, 41; Luke 17:34-36). Yet, the ingredients for this emphasis are all found here in this Old Testament story. We are introduced to several personalities, but Isaac is always the main character. Although the others disappear from the scene, Isaac constantly remains on the stage. Abraham is taken in death and Isaac remains. Ishmael is taken out of the picture, but Isaac is left. Esau sells his birthright, but through Jacob, Isaac lives on.


1. The Divine Covenant
            The old patriarch knew well that all the promises of the Abrahamic covenant rested in Isaac. He apparently knew, as well, that he would soon make his exodus from the earth. Therefore, even though he had married again (see 25:1) and begotten several children by “Keturah” (25:4), he willed all his possessions “unto Isaac” (25:5). When he “was gathered to his people” (25:8), Isaac and Ishmael “buried him in the cave of Machpelah" (25:9) along side "Sarah his wife” (25:10). And, immediately, on the basis of the covenant God made with Abraham, “God blessed his son Isaac” (25:11).


2. The Divine Choice
            Isaac was the special child of promise, the predetermined seed. Ishmael was the fruit of Abraham’s selfish endeavors. Consequently, we are briefly introduced to “the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham” (25:13). Then, quickly after their names are recorded, we read the obituary of Ishmael (see 25:16-18). That which is of the flesh is soon forgotten! But, that which is of the Spirit lives on and on! Thus, because Isaac’s lineage was the chosen vehicle of the Messiah, much biblical history involves Isaac and his posterity.


3. The Divine Channel
            When God begins something, He continues to work until it is completed (see Phil. 1:6). In this scene, Isaac became the channel through which He worked. When “Rebekah his wife conceived” and “the children struggled together within her” (25:21, 22), God’s purposes were made clear. The Lord explained, “Two nations are in thy womb . . . and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger” (25:23). Of course, starting when Esau “sold his birthright unto Jacob” (25:33), this servitude would bring Jacob to the forefront and the program of God would move forward.



            One of the first jobs that must be completed when building a house is the plumbing. As you watch a plumber work, you will see him artistically connect one pipe to another pipe, and then add on yet other pipes to make the system complete and usable. This illustrates a very foundational truth! God takes one life and connects that life to another life, and joins that life even to many other lives. Some are taken and others are left, but, all in all, He accomplishes His purposes in His people, and the blessings of heaven continue to flow from one generation to another.