When the men of the place asked him [Isaac] about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he feared to say, “My wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive. Genesis 26:7
Can you believe it? Isaac repeated the same sin as his father Abraham. Afraid of the resident king, and also aware of his wife’s utter beauty, Isaac felt he had to lie and spread the word that his wife was really his sister. Isaac’s plot was a carbon copy of the one his father concocted years before.
Oh, the power of a bloodline. Joyce Carol Oates, a modern-day author, said that “We are linked by blood and blood is memory without language.” Absolutely true.
Did Abraham tell Isaac the story of selling Sarah? I wonder. If Abraham did reveal the story of his own lie to King Abimelech, and stress how tragic the outcome would have been without God’s intervention, I doubt that Isaac would have been quick to repeat it.
I can be quick to tell my children the family stories I am most proud of but shy to reveal my past mistakes. I feel I must protect my reputation at all costs. How many parents die with secrets? Probably most.
But let’s assume Abraham did tell Isaac the story of his earlier sin and related it with great passion. Isaac could have grown up making a vow under his breath, “I’ll never do what my father did!” How many young adults breathe these kinds of inner vows in anger? They spend their lives endeavoring to be UN-like someone in their family. But, by default, they are just like them and often can’t see it.
The spiritual pull of a bloodline is a powerful force and I’d be foolish to underestimate it. Holy legacies are passed down but so are UN-holy ones. How can I be saved from repeating my parent’s sin? By acknowledging their sin before God, asking God to forgive them, and trusting God to wipe all effects of their bad choices from me and my children. Only the resurrection power of God can stand up against generational bondages and win. You and I need not walk in the ways of our fathers nor even feel the allure.
You don’t just change behaviors, You change the heart behind them. Thank you for writing Your Word on my heart and giving me freedom. Amen