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Abraham, Isaac And Jacob

Moreover He said, "I am the God of your father--
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."
(Exodus 3:6)

'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?
God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
(Matthew 22:32)

Why did God called Himself the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? Why these three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

God is not the God of the dead, but the living. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. Isaac was 60 years when Jacob was born. And Abraham lived a ripe age of 175 years. Therefore Jacob was fifteen years old when his grandfather, Abraham, died. There was an awesome duration of 15 years whereby all these three patriarchs lived together.

Name His Firstborn At Age Lifespan
Abraham 100 175
Isaac 60 180
Jacob - 147
(Genesis 21:5; 25:7; 25:26; 35:28; 47:28)


15 years dwelling together











Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived together for 15 years in tents.

By faith Abraham obeyed
when he was called to go out to the place
which he would receive as an inheritance.
And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
By faith he dwelt in the land of promise
as in a foreign country,
dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob,
the heirs with him of the same promise;
for he waited for the city which has foundations,
whose builder and maker is God.
(Hebrews 11:8-10)

What is so special about living in tents? It is the place where God reveals Himself and His plans to His people. A good way to imagine this is that of God and His people sitting down together on adjacent cushions in a nomad's tent in the desert to discuss matters, in intimacy, not having the need to shout. Lying side-by-side, the still, quiet intimate voice of God can be heard.

The psalmist David had only one desire. Before his son Solomon built the First Temple, the temple of God was just a tent. He desired to dwell in the tent with God all the days of his life:

One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
(Psalm 27:4)

In the book of Job, there was a beautiful passage describing Job longing for the days of his youth when God's presence was in his tent:

Just as I was in the days of my prime,
When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent;
When the Almighty was yet with me,
When my children were around me;
When my steps were bathed with cream,
And the rock poured out rivers of oil for me!
(Job 29:4-6)

This is a great example of the tent. Job described God's presence with him in the tent where his steps were bathed with cream. Even the rock poured out rivers of oil for him! His children were also with him. There was this intimate friendship of God visiting his tent.

God visited Abraham in his tent too:

The LORD appeared to Abraham
near the great trees of Mamre
while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent
in the heat of the day.

Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby.
When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent
to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

He said, "If I have found favor in Your eyes, my Lord,
do not pass Your servant by.
Let a little water be brought,
and then you may all wash your feet and
rest under this tree.
Let me get you something to eat,
so you can be refreshed and
then go on your way--
now that you have come to your servant."
"Very well," they answered, "do as you say."
(Genesis 18:1-5)

Then the LORD said,
"Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?
Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation,
and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.
For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children
and his household
after him to keep the way of the LORD
by doing what is right and just,
so that the LORD will bring about
for Abraham what He has promised him."
(Genesis 18:17-19)

Furthermore, the significance of the above passage is in its teaching that God does not hide His plans from His friends:

Surely the Lord GOD does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
Amos 3:7)

God is interested in both Abraham and his generations after him. He is vitally concerned that Abraham would prepare the next generation to love and serve Him. He called Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He made His covenant not only with Abraham but also with Isaac and Jacob. The promises of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3) originally given to Abraham were renewed with his son Isaac (Genesis 26:2-5), and with his grandson Jacob (Genesis 28:12-15).

  • God Made The Covenant With Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3):

Now the LORD had said to Abram:
"Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father's house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you and make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

  • God Renewed His Covenant With Isaac (Genesis 26:2-5):

Then the LORD appeared to him (Isaac) and said:
"Do not go down to Egypt;
live in the land of which I shall tell you.
Dwell in this land,
and I will be with you and bless you;
for to you and your descendants I give all these lands,
and I will perform the oath
which I swore to Abraham your father.
And I will make your descendants
multiply as the stars of heaven;
I will give to your descendants all these lands;
and in your seed
all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge,
My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."

  • God Renewed His Covenant With Jacob (Genesis 28:12-15):

Then he dreamed, and
behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and
its top reached to heaven; and
there the angels of God
were ascending and descending on it.
And behold, the LORD stood above it and said:
"I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and
the God of Isaac;
the land on which you lie I will give
to you and your descendants.
Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth;
you shall spread abroad to the west and the east,
to the north and the south;
and in you and in your seed
all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go,
and will bring you back to this land;
for I will not leave you
until I have done what I have spoken to you."

Abraham fulfilled God's plans by faithfully directing his children and his household after him to keep the ways of the Lord by doing right and just. In this way, the Lord fulfilled His promises to Abraham and his descendants. This legacy that Abraham passed down to his children continues even now. God is not making a covenant with Abraham alone. He is making it with his descendants also.

God desires to be their God, and also the God of their sons and grandsons and thereafter. His commandments are to be written upon their hearts. They are to impress them on their children. Talking about the Word of God everywhere whether sitting at home, walking along the road, lying down or getting up. That’s teaching and training by role models and life examples. That’s the best way to train their children in the ways of the Lord.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your strength.
And these words which I command you today
shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children,
and shall talk of them
when you sit in your house,
when you walk by the way,
when you lie down,
and when you rise up
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand,
and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house
and on your gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

They spend quality time with one another. Their relationships between one another are nurtured over meals, family devotions, praying and playing together, seeking and finding the Lord. This precious time together is unhurried. Walking through the neighborhood or along a quiet path, parents and their children can laugh, speak and listen, share and learn from one another. These times are holy and sacred. They are commanded by the Lord!

Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments,
just as the LORD my God commanded me,
that you should act according to them in the land
which you go to possess.
Therefore be careful to observe them;
for this is your wisdom and your understanding
in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes
and say, 'Surely this great nation
is a wise and understanding people.'
"For what great nation is there that has God so near to it,
as the LORD our God is to us,
for whatever reason we may call upon Him?
And what great nation is there
that has such statutes and righteous judgments
as are in all this law which I set before you this day?
(Deuteronomy 4:5-8)

By teaching their children and children-children, the people of God become a wise and understanding people in the sight of others.

Similarly, we have a great responsibility before us. As parents, we should teach our children by our life examples in daily living. In Ephesians 6:4, Paul gave us this exhortation:

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children;
instead, bring them up in the training and
instruction of the Lord."

It is the primary responsibility of the fathers to train and teach their children in the Lord, not just the mothers, the schools and the churches! However this important task has been totally left to the academic institutions and churches. By outsourcing their responsibilities completely, their children are not firmly rooted in love and in the ways of the Lord. Without the proper foundations, their children eventually abandon their faith and their God!

The wise counsel to all fathers is still Proverbs 22:6:

"Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it."

God desires us to live the covenant relationship with Him. He desires to renew the Abrahamic covenant with us! This covenant requires us to obey Him so that our children and grandchildren will know by our life examples how to live the abundant life that God has designed us to live! The Bible is the Textbook. Its writings are to be written on our hearts so that we can bear the true witness to our children and their children!

You therefore, my son,
be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
And the things that you have heard from me
among many witnesses,
commit these to faithful men
who will be able to teach others also.
(2 Timothy 2:1-2)

Nelson's Bible Dictionary

Written on:
3 June 2006