Isaac was the ‘son of promise’, the son through whom God told him all the nations on earth would be blessed (see Gen 22:18). Nonetheless, as Gen 26 makes clear, he had to learn to hear God for himself. He may have been enormously blessed to be Abraham’s son, but he needed to walk with God himself too. There are great blessings from being brought up in a Christian family and knowing God’s truths from being a child, but we have to understand that faith isn’t hereditary. It’s not in the genes in the same way that our hair colouring, eye colour and other genetic factors are. Faith comes from hearing the message of salvation, from hearing and understanding God’s word (Rom 10:17) and one of the key responsibilities we have as Christians is to pass that message on to everyone, especially our families. Parents have a duty and responsibility to bring their children up in the instruction and training of the Lord. (Eph 6:4) Proverbs tells us, ‘Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.’ (Prov 22:6) In this chapter, we see Isaac growing in his relationship with God; we see God speaking to Isaac afresh (Gen 26:2-5, 24) and Isaac learning to obey Him (Gen 26:25).

There are no family passes to heaven! Each one of us has to make the personal choice to receive Jesus as our Saviour; we have to come to God individually by being born again into His family. Isaac was greatly blessed, a miracle child given by God, but he too had to learn to walk by faith as his father had done and appropriate God’s promises for his life. Let’s pray for our families and for the children in our church to find faith for themselves and to walk in the fear of the Lord all the days of their lives.