Someone has said that Isaac was the ordinary son of an extraordinary father, who became the ordinary father of an extraordinary son. You can find an example of godliness in Isaac…you just have to look for it. He was not spectacular.
Isaac was apparently a good farmer (Genesis 26:12) and a diligent well-digger (26:18), but he was generally passive when it came to spiritual things. We don’t really see him actively seeking God or pressing into His presence.
There is a reflection of the faith of Abraham in chapter 26 when Isaac built an altar and worshiped in a place where the Lord had appeared to him. But in the same chapter Isaac followed a negative example of his father when he lied about Rebekah, putting her honor and purity in jeopardy.
Chapter 27 finds Isaac blind, old, and easily confused. The story of Jacob and Esau, his opposite-twins, is sibling rivalry at its ugliest.
Jacob, wearing an Esau costume (his mother’s idea), tricked Isaac into giving him the all-important blessing of the firstborn, which was rightfully Esau’s. With that blessing, Jacob would be the one to fulfill the Abrahamic covenant and to father the people of God, not Esau.
Esau was understandably furious, and Jacob lived up to his name, which means “supplanter” (a fancy word for “cheater”). So did Rebekah (“ensnarer”), who craftily snagged the blessing for her favorite child.
This event and its long-enduring consequences is one of the great mysteries of the sovereignty of God. God’s limitless power and knowledge used even the deception of Jacob to accomplish His perfect will.
Ultimately this is a testimony of the grace of God, who elected to include a self-seeking sinner in His plan of redemption. That gives this sinner hope! I’m so glad that God’s grace extends to the clueless (like Isaac), the conniving (like Rebekah), and the cheaters (like Jacob)!