I am sure you have heard the saying: like father, like son. This statement is true in many ways. A son tends to follow in the footsteps of his father. A son will often have the same tendencies as his father. Sins of a father is often repeated by the son. The personality of the father is often passed down to the son. Here in Genesis 26 we see Isaac living and behaving in a way that was very similar to his father, Abraham.
The same Faith (v. 1-5). The covenant that God made with Abraham is now passed down to Isaac. Abraham received this covenant promise because he was obedient to God and because he believed. Isaac is now receiving the same covenant which means that he also had the same faith that Abraham had. He believed God. The faith or lack of faith of a father is often passed down to his son. If a young man has a godly father who taught him the Word of God and set a good example for him, the young man will most likely be a believer and pass down his faith to his son. However, if a father is ungodly and does not teach what is right to his son, the son will most likely go down a path of ungodliness. Now, this is not always the case. There are those who grow up in Christian homes and, yet, they rebel and despise the faith of their father. There are those who grow up in an ungodly home, yet, by the grace of God they are gloriously saved. However, the norm is that children will follow in the footsteps of their father. This is why having a strong faith is so important for parents. I saw a facebook post the other day that read something like this: “If going to church is optional for the parents, then Jesus will be optional for the children.” This is a powerful and true statement. If having your family in church regularly (at least once a week) is not a priority in your home, then having a relationship with Jesus will not be important to your children. Isaac was strong in his faith, it was a faith that was passed down from his father.
The same Sins (v. 6-11). Here we find Isaac doing the exact same thing that Abraham did. Abraham told a half-truth because Sarah was, in fact, his half-sister. However, Isaac told a blatant lie. This goes to show that a son will not only commit the same sins as his father; but will take it a step further. Sin is passed down from one generation to another. This is not only true in the aspect of our sin nature, but, also of specific sins. Many times, the sin struggles of a son are the same struggles that his father had.
The same Struggles (v. 12-22). Isaac experienced some of the same struggles that Abraham had. There are two things we learn here about the struggles that Isaac experienced. First of all, we see that blessings brings struggles. Isaac was blessed with material wealth, just like Abraham. However, with those blessings there came great struggles. Abimelech kept pushing Isaac further away. In verse 16 we read that Abimelech says that Isaac is much greater than they were. It is good to receive both physical and spiritual blessings from the Lord, but, they do not come without a price. With every blessing, there is a struggle. Secondly, we see that growing in the Word brings struggles. Every time Isaac dug a well, conflict arose. Water in the scriptures is often symbolic of the Word of God. As we grow in our walk with God, as we dig more wells, Satan will attack more and more. The more you grow in the Word, the greater the target you will be. However, the struggle is worth it all. For with every struggle, God gives you more grace.
The same Influence (v. 23-35). Isaac became a very influential man just like his father. There were people coming to him wanting to be on his side. He had great influence. Everyone of us is an influence one way or another. The question is, what kind of influence are you? Are you making an impact for the kingdom of God? Are you making a difference?
You may not have had the greatest father. Your father may not have been a very good influence. However, you can change your family tree. You can choose to do what is right. In choosing to do the right thing and follow your heavenly Father, you will have an impact on many generations to come.