Imagine what it must have been like to be Isaac. His father, Abraham, takes a whole different turn from everybody else. He starts hearing the voice of God. He starts following this one God instead of the myriad other gods that people followed those days.
This was a radical departure. This was way out there. This alone would mark your family as weird. This alone could cause Isaac to not carry on his father’s plan.
Then his father tries to kill him. His father continues to hear this strange voice, this unusual voice, and it says to sacrifice his son. This is his son who has been promised to him in his old age. This son who is promised will be the source of all his descendants. He’s told to go kill him, and he obeys. It is only in the last moments that there is a reprieve and Isaac is spared.
Isaac had to be terrified. Here’s his father acting stranger than normal, binding him up and laying him on an altar, holding a knife over him.
If I were Isaac, I think I’d run away from home at the nearest opportunity.
Yet Isaac is responsible for the continuation of the faith. This whole story could have ended with Abraham. Isaac could have shrugged it off as a bad story of a bad childhood and forgotten it all.
But he didn’t.
Abraham is amazing, for being brave enough to go against the norm and following the one God. He trusted God even when God asked him to do some crazy things.
But Isaac kept the message going. Isaac kept the faith and the word that there is one God. And then every generation since then has kept the faith and the message.
It is like a relay race. At any point the baton could have been dropped, and the race would be over. At any point the word of the one true God could have been lost and forgotten.
Every new thing needs people brave enough to take that first step outside of the lines that society has drawn. But it also needs loyal followers to keep it going. Let us remember and praise Isaac, and all of the others who carried this message to us.