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Isaac loved Esau. —Genesis 25:28

Read Genesis 25:27;26:11

One of the proofs that the Bible is not written by man is that it recounts the failures of many leading characters in this redemptive history. We do not come across great and pious heroes in Scripture; we are instead confronted with sinners. Although Isaac was a man of prayer, he was also a sinner. For one thing, we read that Isaac loved Esau on account of the venison that he prepared for his father, favouring him above Jacob. This favour was a serious and sinful defect on Isaac’s part, and had far-reaching consequences

. Secondly, we see that Isaac committed the same sin his father Abraham had committed years earlier: he told a half-truth. Fearing the wrath of the Philistine king, Abimelech, he told this heathen monarch that Rebecca was his sister. This sin could have had disastrous consequences if God had not intervened.

From this history we learn that God’s children must go to the Lord with empty, defiled hands and plead for His forgiving grace again and again. On his death bed Luther said, “We are nothing more than beggars.”

What did Luther mean by his confession?


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